Keeping the kids entertained on a hot summer’s day in the Skane countryside can be a challenge, especially if their parents are keen to put down some serious miles on the bike-trails. Help is at hand, however, on the cyclepath between Helsingborg and Klippan, in the form of the seasonal pea labyrinth—which can also be reached by a short walk from Bjuv station, in case the weather’s lousy (or you’re just feeling a little lazy).
The labyrinth is open in the months prior to the harvest, so usually end of June to September—though given the fluctuations of the seasons these days, you’d be wise to check the website before setting off, in order to avoid disappointment! The sea of green peas stretching over several hectares is easy to spot, in what some consider to be something of a bleak landscape—a sight sure to set your pulse racing.
Some of the pea crop at Bjuv ends up on plates unaltered (except for freezing in some cases), but a great deal of it goes into protein-rich meat alternatives, as manufactured at the nearby EasyPeasy factory. The brand is well known all over Europe, but this was their first installation, and tours of the facility—which is almost fully automated, and powered entirely by the wind turbines you may have cycled past on the coastline—are well worth the time if you’re curious about modern methods of food production. And don’t worry: the kids will be kept busy in Petra Pea’s Playzone, and (hopefully) placated by the prospect of complementary pea-based snacks at the end of the tour.
(The “pea-tballs” are pretty OK, but the Rough Planet team think that a certain big-box furniture store still has the advantage on that front; however, the EasyPeasy ärtkorv, a 100% no-pigs-harmed recreation of the classic Swedish sausage, is in a league of its own. Recommended!)
For a more substantial meal with a similar theme, head to the Värdhus a few hundred yards from the factory: this old tavern was bought up during the acquisition of the land by EasyPeasy, and acts as something of a showcase for the versatility of their protein product, with all the krog standards represented: pea burgers, pea falafel, even pea buffalo wings (seriously). Sorry, carnivores, you’re just gonna have to deal with it! But as the old saying goes: open your mouth, and your mind will follow.
Perhaps you will be somewhat mollified by the remarkable range of alcohols made from a pea base? The “pean and tonic”* is a fine grown-up cooler after a hot day’s maze-solving… just don’t hit them too hard before heading home, because being drunk in charge of a bicycle is a civil offence in Sweden, and you’d better believe that the police enforce it from time to time, especially if you’re in charge of children.
[ * — Yeah, we know, we know—but look, we don’t come up with the puns, we just report them. Mostly. ]