Food facts, Peas

Pea Nutrition, Selection, Storage and Availability Peas are low in fat while also being a good source of fiber and protein. When purchasing green peas in the pod, they should appear green and filled, but not overly large.  Medium-sized pods are best.  Avoid those pods that are yellowish, puffy or dull looking.  The best snow peas are flattened and shiny—put back any snow peas where the pods are bulging from peas.  Sugar snap peas should be firm, bright green, and plump, with no overdeveloped seeds.  To preserve quality, refrigerate peas in a perforated plastic bag to maintain nutrient content and prevent the sugar from being converted into starch.  Keep green peas in the their pods until right before use. For best quality, use peas within 5 days of harvest.  Freezing peas results in a loss of their crunch quality. Fresh peas are available in Wisconsin in June and July.

Pea Extras Dating back to 10,000 B.C., peas were first found in India and are members of the legume family.  Peas found by archaeologists on the Thai-Burmese border have been carbon-dated to 9750 B.C.  The Sugar Snap pea was developed in the 1970s as a cross between the green peas and snow peas. The three most common types of fresh peas grown in the United States are the green peas (also known as garden peas), snow peas, and sugar snap peas.  Wisconsin ranks third in the nation for the processing of peas.

Information from the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection and the University of Wisconsin-Extension.