Andersen’s Pea Soup

A piping-hot-bowl-of-split-pea-soup welcome to ~Postcards From The Dinner Table~ (PFTDT), the newest addition to the postcardiness Blogroll!  Karen Resta maintains this wonderful blogsite, writing with wit and imagination.  I found Postcards From The Dinner Table via Karen’s submission to A Festival of Postcards (6th ed.) — White, and had been meaning to add PFTDT to my Blogroll, and even had selected a welcome postcard to feature, but work and family obligations left little time.  However, I knew that today, January 14, 2010, was the day to make time to welcome PFTDT, because Karen features today the very postcard that I had chosen to post as a greeting:  Pea Soup Andersen’s!  So, like two peas in a pod, here is Pea Soup Andersen’s:  

Andersen's Pea Soup - obverse

Pea Soup Andersen's - obverse

Andersen's Pea Soup - reverse

Pea Soup Andersen's - reverse

But wait!  The PFTDT postcard and my postcard are not “two peas in a pod”!  The postcards are nearly identical, yes, but subtle variations can be seen.  Postcards can experience “genetic” variations, just like the variations that Gregor Mendel observed in his famous experiment with,,, you guessed it:  PEAS.  

According to the Mendelian system, the PFTDT postcard is the P or “Parental” generation postcard, since only one location is given for Pea Soup Andersen’s Restaurant:  Buellton, California,  43 miles north of Santa Barbara on U. S. Highway 101.  However, the postcard depicted above belongs to a later generation, since by the time it was printed there were three Pea Soup Andersen’s restaurants in California:  The original location in Buellton on U. S. Highway 101, north of Santa Barbara, a second location in Santa Nella, 65 miles south of Stockton on Interstate 5, and a third restaurant at Mammoth Lakes Village in Selma, situated in the High Sierras.  Since my postcard has a copyright date of 1976, the PFTDT example must be pre-1976.  

The original Pea Soup Andersen’s restaurant is located at 376 Avenue of the Flags, Buellton, CA 93427-9704; phone: (805) 688-5581.  The address of the Santa Nella restaurant is 12411 State Hwy 33, Gustine, CA 95322-9792; telephone:  (209) 826-1685.  The Mountain Springs Valley location is no longer operating as a Pea Soup Andersen’s restaurant, but leaves an enduring reminder of its former presence in Selma, California:  There is a short street named Pea Soup Andersen Boulevard, with two establishments addressed to it:  The Spike and Rail Steak House (2910 Pea Soup Andersen Boulevard) (formerly Pea Soup Andersen’s) and Holiday Inn Selma Swan Court (2950 Pea Soup Andersen Boulevard).  Update of July 24, 2010:  According to an employee of the Spike & Rail, the transfer from Pea Soup Andersen’s took place around 2001.  Some reviews on Yelp document that split pea soup is still featured on the menu!  Here is a photo of the restaurant at Mammoth Springs (taken after the name had changed from Pea Soup Andersen’s to Spike and Rail Steak House), showing the signature windmill architecture for which Pea Soup Andersen’s restaurants are noted. 

Fun facts:  Pea Soup Andersen’s has a facebook page.  The surname “Andersen” is often misspelled “Anderson”, yielding “Pea Soup Anderson’s”.   This postcard is published by Kolor View Press, based in Los Angeles, CA 90064 Printed in USA copyright 1976

There is so much more to write about this postcard, but duty calls.  Welcome Karen, of Postcards From The Dinner Table!

Update:  Karen has posted a recipe for split pea soup in the following three, consecutive posts:

Split pea soup recipe Part 1: Not Only Slow But Delightfully Lazy (Split Pea Soup)  I highly recommend a viewing of the YouTube video of Bisschen dies und bisschen das that is embedded in this post  Sheer fun!

Split pea soup recipe Part 2: On Not Being a Princess In the World of Pea Soups

Split pea soup recipe Part 3: Romancing the Pea in Any Given Soup has a simile-simmered story interwoven with the finale of the pea soup recipe.


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10 Responses to “Andersen’s Pea Soup”

  1. Karen Resta Says:

    Fantastic! A perfect example of great minds thinking alike. 😉 And interesting to learn about the variations on the postcards, also!

    • postcardiness Says:

      Hello Karen! Here is a photo of the end result of the pea-splitting efforts of HAP-PEA and PEA-WEE from Andersen’s dinner table to yours. — Leo

      • Karen Says:

        Leo, the soup looks delicious. It looks almost exactly like my split pea soup as a matter of fact! And of course there can be many variations of this recipe.

        The history of the restaurant is quite interesting (and easily searchable). I’d thought of including it in the post, and/or alternately add info on how peas become ‘split peas’ – but it would have made for a long-ish post.

        Tomorrow I’m adding a recipe, though. Actually more than one recipe. So if you like to cook, please stop back to visit! 🙂

        Thanks so much for the photo(s)!

  2. evelynyvonnetheriault Says:

    I knew you would enjoy Karen’s Dinner Table site! There’s lots of great postcards sites but few with such a charming and well developed topic!
    Evelyn in Montreal

  3. Susan E Says:

    Serendi-pea-ty! (Sorry!)

    • postcardiness Says:

      More than serendi-pea-ty, Susan… serendipity with a zinger of coincidence! When I first visited Postcards From The Dinner Table via the White edition of the Festival of Postcards, I knew instantly that the Pea Soup Andersen’s postcard in my collection would be the perfect card with which to greet Karen. Finally finding a bit of time this morning to write the post, I was dumbstruck upon visiting Karen’s site to see that she had featured that very postcard just hours before! For a moment I thought that the computer monitor had turned into a mirror, reflecting the postcard I was holding in my hand. Simply amazing! — Leo

      P. S. The Pea Soup Andersen’s Santa Nella restaurant is notable for its windmill architectural embellishment. View it here. — L.

  4. louise Says:

    Congratulations to Karen, I love her home away from home:) Now, you just know I will have to do a post about Andersen’s. I think I will do it in June or November for National Split Pea Week. As Karen said, the history is easy to find and with this post and Karen’s post, the rest is as they say, gravy! Has Split Pea Soup ever been this much FUN???

    Thanks for sharing…

    • postcardiness Says:

      Hello, Louise! Your Months of Edible Celebrations blogsite is scrumptious! In the soup category, split pea soup ranks close to the top of my favorites. Because it is the original location of Andersen’s (the official name of the restaurant / company is “Pea Soup Andersen’s”), Buellton, California proclaims itself to be “the home of pea soup”, and some websites call it the “pea soup capital of the world.” Buellton does have a contender to the north, since St. Jean-Baptiste, Manitoba is known as the “pea soup capital of Canada.” I’ve long been interested in [fill-in-the-blank] capitals of the world, especially when the “blank” is a vegetable or fruit. The little village of McClure, Ohio is — or used to be — the self-proclaimed radish capital of the world. For many years, a giant radish was painted on the McClure water tower, and tons of free radishes were available during the annual McClure Radish Festival. The 30th Annual McClure Radish Festival was held in Big Creek Park on Saturday, June 20, 2009 and Sunday, June 21, 2009, but it was destined to be the last one. According to a knowledgeable resident of the McClure area, there was no Radish Festival in 2010, due to low attendance in recent years, and there most likely will be no more radish festivals held in McClure (personal interview August 8, 2010).

      Willard, Ohio is somewhat more modest in the terrain that it claims to rule, being merely the celery capital of the U. S. A. Apparently, celery thrives in the muck soil type that developed on the surface of the glacial till deposited over much of northern Ohio after the last continental glaciers of the Pleistocene Ice Ages receded.

      Whatever day you choose to feature Andersen’s, Louise, will be a “HAP-PEA” day indeed! — Leo

      July 17, 2011 update: Covered bridges are neither vegetables nor fruit, but I just ran across this “capital of the world”: With a total of 31 covered bridges, Parke County, Indiana is known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World“. Discovered while researching the prevalence of covered bridges that have windows for my post at Ditalini Press featuring a view through a covered bridge.

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