Only a small UK acreage is grown and most are for forage and some for the pigeon mixtures trade. They have replaced the New Zealand maples for the pigeon mixtures because they are cheaper, but again because of poor yields and poor standing ability (caused by excessive straw) most growers are reluctant to grow them.
They are used to form a traditional Lancashire dish that is popular in Rochdale, Oldham, Wigan, Bury and Bolton. They are soaked overnight and simmered to produce a type of mushy pea. They are a commonly found at fairgrounds and traditionally eaten from a cup with salt & vinegar.
A small tonnage is required annually for ‘Carlin Sunday’ but this is a very limited use in the North West in the autumn for one particular festival. They are prepared slightly differently; fried with butter for a few minutes and seasoned with vinegar and black pepper. Some Maple Peas are sent to Asia for the Snack Market, this again however is a small Niche market.