That’s a million dollar question. There’s not a whole lot of information on this subject. I once read that the foam which appears when rising split peas is nothing more than a naturally occurring non-harmful substance. I’ve also heard that it is the ‘starch’ that causes the foam. Most legumes do foam while rinsing or cooking and unfortunately, it is very unattractive and looks simply ‘gross.’ Just scoop it away with a ladle, as necessary, as they are cooking.
Like I wrote about in my recent post “Soaking Beans,” it’s a good idea to soak beans, including dried peas, overnight. This not only eliminates natural gasses that the beans produce, but should also cut back on the foaming and overall cook time as well.
Some things are not what they appear to be, so don’t be afraid of the foam. It’s not soap and it’s not poison.
Every time I rinse my peas and see this foam it makes me think of years back when I went to Puerto Vallarta. Ahhh…what a trip! The ocean was full of foam and I, as well as many others, was afraid to go into the ocean not knowing what it was. I thought it was some form of pollution. Well, one of the front desk clerks explained to us what it was and pointed out posters that had been hung up throughout the resort which informed the hotel patrons of the same. Turns out it was ‘mating’ season for some of the ocean life and the foam was…well, hmmm…how do I say this, “sex foam.” I swear! This is how it was explained to us. I bought it at the time, but to tell you the truth, I seriously don’t know if it was the truth because I’ve never researched it.
Any whoooo………..what can I say? Foam does not always have to be feared – I guess that’s the moral of my story! 🙂