The pea (Pisum sativum) is an ancient legume. Archeological evidence suggests that it may have been cultivated nearly 12,000 years ago in both Switzerland and Thailand—"[a] record," suggests Burt Greene in Greene on Greens, "for any vegetable that is still consumed with a measure of relish." Later, peas were grown and appreciated in India and the Middle East, and were then taken up with enthusiasm by the Greeks and Romans. The famed first-century A.D. Roman epicure Apicius included 13 recipes for them in his De Re Coquinaria. The most elaborate of these, pisa farsilis (peas "supreme-style"), combined them with sow's belly, leeks, coriander, thrushes (or a thrush substitute of chicken and brains combined), sausage, bacon, pine nuts, pepper, lovage, oregano, ginger, pork broth, oil, caul fat, crushed nuts, hard-boiled egg yolks, white wine, and, yes, honey. To those of us who believe that peas should be sweated in a few drops of water and served with nothing more than salt and butter, this may seem a bit excessive—but the peas the Romans ate were usually dried (since the growing season was short and there was no other means of preservation available) and famously bitter. A little sow's belly and honey probably only improved them.