Since peas cannot be stored for long periods of time and quickly lose flavor, they are frequently sold frozen or canned. It is also somewhat time-consuming to shell the peas since each peapod contains only four to ten peas, and the peapods are usually thrown away instead of used for other purposes. Unfortunately, peas are normally eaten as a side dish rather than an entrée even though they are very healthy. Sprouting peas greatly increases their digestibility (Urbano 2005). Peas have been eaten since 8000 BCE (Aswad, Syria, documented).
From Wikipedia: “The pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Pea pods are botanically fruit, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower: ...
P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool-season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams. ...”
“In modern times peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bioavailable. ...
Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mange tout and "sugar peas", or the flatter "snow peas," called hé lán dòu, 荷兰豆 in Chinese) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine. Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly, are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest. ...
Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks. In the Philippines, peas, while still in their pods, are a common ingredient in viands and pansit. In the UK, dried yellow split peas are used to make pease pudding (or "pease porridge"), a traditional dish. In North America, a similarly traditional dish is split pea soup. ...
In Chinese cuisine, the tender new growth [leaves and stem] (豆苗; dòu miáo) are commonly used in stir-fries. Much like picking the leaves for tea, the farmers pick the tips off of the pea plant. ...
Processed peas are mature peas which have been dried, soaked and then heat treated (processed) to prevent spoilage—in the same manner as pasteurizing. Cooked peas are sometimes sold dried and coated with wasabi, salt, or other spices.”
“There are many varieties (cultivars) of garden peas. ...” You can view a list of some of the most common varieties by following the link above.
“Other variations of P. sativum include:
Both of these are eaten whole before the pod reaches maturity and are hence also known as mange-tout, French for "eat all". The snow pea pod is eaten flat, while in sugar/snap peas, the pod becomes cylindrical, but is eaten while still crisp, before the seeds inside develop.”
“Peas are starchy, but high in fiber, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and lutein. Dry weight is about one-quarter protein and one-quarter sugar. Pea seed peptide fractions have less ability to scavenge free radicals than glutathione, but greater ability to chelate metals and inhibit linoleic acid oxidation.”
“Some people are allergic to peas, as well as lentils. Favism, or Fava-bean-ism, is a genetic deficiency that affects Jews and other descendents of the Mediterranean with an allergic-like reaction. The reaction to eating most, if not all, beans is hemolytic anemia, and in severe cases a delayed reaction of acute kidney injury.”