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I was emailed a recipe by a friend -- she'd like me to cook a Strawberry and Lemon White Bean Bundt Cake. One of the ingredients is going to be a problem, though:

1/2 pound Camellia Brand Lady Cream Peas, cooked and drained

The cooked peas are pureed and then mixed with other, more conventional cake ingredients; presumably the strawberry and lemon flavors predominate, rather than the peas.

But for my question: I'd never heard of lady cream peas! According to the manufacturer's website (from whence the recipe comes), it's a type of cowpea.

They have a sweet flavor and creamy texture and are featured in Southern dishes

I've looked in a couple of stores and can't find lady cream peas -- would I be able to substitute black-eyed peas (another strain of cowpea) with little risk of changing the flavor, or are they stronger (beanier?) than lady cream peas? What other bean/pea options are available? My lack of cowpea experience is showing :)

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Camellia brand has a store locator for it's products and the OP was able to find the lady cream peas at a location close to her.

For anyone who isn't able to find them, butter peas are a good option. I've seen them fresh, frozen, and canned. Other acceptable substitutes could be cannellini (white kidney) beans or great northern beans, although great northerns are not quite as sweet. Both of these should be available dried or canned. However, if you are to prepare them without salt, I would stay away from canned.

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I can't really recommend using just any white bean. There is a flavor difference. Lady creams are unusual in that they have a rather mild and inoffensive, slightly sweet flavor and comparatively creamy texture. This differentiates both this particular strain and the cream peas more generally from other cowpeas, which have a much earthier and brainier flavor. The big deal is that like other cowpeas, they still have around twice the protein of regular beans. Small Lima / butter beans are probably creamy and mild enough, but slightly bitter unless cooked with a couple changes of water (which removes some nutrition and the funny taste that comes from a truly harmless level of of natural cyanide compounds). Great Northern or Navy beans would probably be ok flavor wise, but have a less than ideal consistency. I don't know much about white kidney beans.

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I am sure you could use any type of white beans.

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    What about white beans make them a good match for the characteristics of lady cream peas?
    – Erica
    Commented Feb 17, 2018 at 15:58

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