Learn how your comment data is processed. And which is the better choice for a small vegetable garden? All stages are edible, from the blossoms to the immature pods, called snaps, to the mature pods full of peas and the overly mature pods full of dried peas. That’s how they get their tender crisp outer pods, and sweet inner peas. The sugar pea is divided into two main types: the snow pea and the snap pea. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. An English pea has a waxier, more fibrous pod. Change ). A snap pea, on the other hand, has an edible shell that is less fibrous. ( Log Out /  Another type of pea plant, garden peas, produce the dry peas commonly called split peas. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The indigestible parchment of this pea either forms late or not at all, so you can eat both pod and pea: no need for shelling. What’s the Difference Between a Garden Pea and a Snow Pea? It was not until the 17th century, during the reign of Louis XIV, that peas designed for fresh eating, apparently first imported from Italy, began to be grown in France, where the newcomer was called “petit pois” (little pea). The low-fiber pods sometimes have strings along the side that are removed before cooking. ( Log Out /  Also, snap peas may be seen as just a bit easier to grow than snow peas, simply because their harvest window is longer. Yay! Dried peas and green peas are basically derived from the same plant and hold the same characteristics, but to a point. Snow peas are picked when the seeds are very tiny and the pods flat and tender. You’re not the only one! In some climates, they are spring vegetables, in others, fall or even winter ones. Question: Can you explain the difference between a pea and a snow pea? The small but mighty pea is a powerhouse of protein packed with disease-reducing vitamins and belly-filling proteins. These seeds are often harvested about 18 to 21 days after flowering, when the peas are large, sweet and tender. In fact, at harvest time, a snap pea pod looks physically very much like a garden pea pod. They’re cool-season plants that prefer a moist soil. You're signed up to our mailing list and will be receiving your first recipe soon. Nevertheless, each of them has distinct features that often are overlooked. Plants producing split peas and sweet peas require similar growing conditions. You decide! Both types commonly have a “string”: a fiber running along the top of the pod from base to tip. Garden peas are typically 3-4 inches long and have tough pods that aren’t recommended for eating. Answer: The two peas are variants of the pea plant (Pisum sativum), an annual climber of the legume family (Fabaceae), native to the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Which is better choice for a small vegetable garden? However, the membranous string running along the top of the pod should be removed before eating, in a process called "stringing." She holds a Master of Science degree from the University of California, Davis, in animal science. The Difference between Peas and Beans. ( Log Out /  When exactly peas were first discovered remains a mystery; however, there have been many speculations which suggest possible origins, including Middle Asia, specifically Burma and Thailand with expansion to Afghanistan, the eastern rim of the Mediterranean basin, and the mountainous and plateau ranges of Ethiopia. It wasn’t until the 19th century, when good canning and freezing processes were developed, that it became a vegetable of the people and common in home gardens. Everything You Need to Know about Green Peas Peas are sweet, delicate vegetables that are…. Snow peas are flat with small peas inside. Yes, I consent to receiving direct marketing from this website. Sweet peas are one type of pea; they provide flowers with a strong fragrance and attractive appearance. They are also more commonly found in farmers markets. The peas have to be shelled, that is, the pod has to be removed, because a tough, indigestible inner membrane called the parchment lines the inside of the pods. I don’t miss the garden peas, since they were not so easy to grow here anyway. All the peas that we usually eat immature (peas, snow peas and snap peas) will still give usable dry peas, with hard seeds richer in starch than in sugar, if they’re left on the plant to ripen fully… or if you forgot to harvest them earlier in the season! However, there are now stringless varieties available. Both types are usually raised from seed with the seeds planted in the spring when the soil reaches 40 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit. The vine-type varieties require support from a fence or trellis while the bush-type don’t require additional support. Field peas are the South's most varied legume, but many cooks never venture past black-eyed peas and might not realize there are other choices. Shelling peas are commonly yellow, but can also be green. The peas are removed from the pods, dried and used like beans. Usually garden pea plants with smooth seeds are allowed to grow until the plant is fully mature and the pods turn tan. Copyright © 2016 - 2020 Produce Made Simple | ​ Privacy Policy. Linda Pouliot Answer: The two peas are variants of the pea plant (Pisum sativum), an annual climber of the legume family… After all, they are eaten as is, pod and all—by the way, they can be eaten directly off the plant, without cooking, if that’s your choice—, while you have to shell garden peas and shelling peas, an extra step. The plants grow best when the temperature ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. Photo: www.healthline.com Question: Can you explain the difference between a pea and a snow pea? What’s In Season Right Now? They may have a vining habit to an erect habit. The pod is harvested immature, when the seed is still small. Sugar snap peas are harvested when the pods are fat and tender, and the seeds small. The main difference between an English pea and a snap pea can be found in the pod. Two to three inches in length, they’re ends are commonly trimmed and then they are used whole in stir-fries or blanched with some butter. For most of those thousands of years, farmers grew peas for their dried seeds, what we would these days call shelling peas, field peas or dry peas (P. sativum arvense). It was actually introduced before the garden pea, having appeared in 16th century France during the reign of Henry IV, but never became popular. If I had any advice to give for small-space gardeners, it would be to grow tall varieties (up to 2 m/7 feet tall), since they produce much more in a limited space than dwarf varieties, although they will need serious staking. The difference is in how you use it, with no shelling, consuming both pod and pea. Fall Harvest Edition. Receive our weekly newsletter and be the first to know about new seasonal recipes, tips from chefs, dietitians and food writers - and contests! Containing more sugar and less starch than shelling peas, the garden pea was long considered a luxury vegetable destined strictly for the tables of the elite, with a short harvest window limited to the spring months. Nowadays, however, most gardeners seem to opt for snow peas or snap peas simply because they’re easier to prepare. Although black-eyed peas are good, they are the Red Delicious apples of the field pea universe: the most well-known and widespread but a bit generic and not necessarily the tastiest or most interesting. The split pea, the type most often used as a soup pea in Europe and North America these days, is actually a more recent development, dating from the 19th century. It gets the name snap pea from the snap it makes when you try to bend the pod.