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How to Store and Prepare Fresh Green Peas, Snow Peas, Sugar Peas, Pea Pods, Sugar Snap Peas, English Peas and Pea Shoots

Storage and Preparation:


Like corn, all varieties of fresh green peas should be eaten as soon as after picking as possible, certainly the same day they are purchased. If something unexpected happens and you must keep them longer than a few hours, seal them, unwashed, in a perforated plastic vegetable bag and use as soon as possible, preferably within a day or two.

Shell peas just before they are going to be cooked. To shell peas, each pod must be opened individually. I find it easiest to string the pods first. Grasp the blossom end and pull along the "seam". The string should come away in one long fiber. Then use the pressure of your thumb and forefinger to press the pods along the same seam. If they do not pop open with this pressure, run your thumbnail along the seam until the pod opens. Then run your thumb down the inside of the pod to release the peas. The shelled peas should be washed lightly in running water and cooked immediately. In our house, shelling was often a job relegated to children, and I remember many wonderful early summer evenings sitting on the back (or front) steps with my mother, shelling peas for dinner and talking.

Sugar snap peas and snow peas need to be strung before eating. Grasp the blossom end and pull gently along the seam. The string should come away in one long fiber. Sugar snaps will have to be strung along both seams. Wash the strung pods well and drain. Once washed, the pods are ready to arrange raw in salads or to be cooked immediately. If you are adding sugar snaps to a stir-fry or cooking them in hot oil, it is best to dry the pods so that they do not spit fat on the cook.
 

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