Unlike garden peas, bright green sugar snap peas do not contain phasin. This means that they can be safely eaten when raw. Tender and flavorful sugar snap peas are rich in vitamins and proteins.
Wikipedia: Edible-podded sugar snap peas (Pisum sativum) are called mangetout ("eat all") in French. Unlike other legumes, sugar snap peas do not contain phasin (a protein that interferes with digestion and is destroyed when heated), which means that you can eat the crisp pod and the tender peas inside either raw or cooked.
For the sweetest flavor, serve peas as soon after purchase as possible. Rinse snap peas and remove any tough "strings" running along the top of the pod from base to tip before cooking or eating raw. Growers are developing stringless varieties, and they are now available in some markets.
You can add raw snap peas to salads or eat them whole with dip as a snack. They are delicious when added to stir-fries or lightly steamed as a vegetable.
Cook sugar snaps very briefly to preserve their bright color, sweetness, and crunch. If the pods are over-cooked, they will come apart, lose their bright color, and develop a slimy texture.1
Look for pods that are bright green, firm, and free from blemishes.
Edible pod peas tend to lose part of their sugar content unless they are promptly chilled after picking. Refrigerate in the crisper section of your refrigerator in a tightly sealed plastic bag and use them within four or five days.
Sugar snap peas are nutritious and filling but are not as high in total carbohydrates and fats as green shelled garden (or English) peas. The crunchy pods are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K.
Sugar snap peas were first developed in 1952 by Dr. Calvin Lamborn and Dr. M.C. Parker of Twin Falls, Idaho when they successfully cross-bred snow peas with garden peas. Researchers hoped that the cross might eliminate undesirable traits like twisting and buckling of the pod often seen in varieties at the time.
Sugar snap peas are often served raw, blanched in salads, or as a common ingredient in stir-fry dishes.
Garden peas and sugar snap peas are both members of the legume family. Unlike garden peas, sugar snap peas have plump round pods that are tender and edible. They do not have a membrane, which means that the pods do not open when ripe. Sugar snap peas do not contain phasin, so they can be eaten raw.1
Literature / Sources:
- Wikipedia. Snap pea [Internet]. Version dated 06.16.2018 [Quoted 08.30.2018].