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Types of Pea Plants

There are only a few main types of pea plants that you may have had the pleasure of trying.

Sweet Peas

Also called garden peas or English peas, sweet peas have inedible pods that contain the peas themselves. Popular varieties include Green Arrow and Wando peas. Those bags in the frozen veggie aisle at the supermarket contain the sweet pea variety.

The baby in the Popeye cartoon (whose actual name was Scooner Seawell Georgia Washenting Christiffer Columbia Daniel Boom) was nicknamed Swee’Pea as a term of endearment, proving that spinach wasn’t the only veggie on the feisty sailor’s mind.

Green or Yellow Field Peas

These are technically from the same plant as sweet peas, but they’re grown to maturity and dried to make split peas. Field peas are used more like lentils, as in a hearty and delicious split pea soup. Many food companies also use them to make pea protein products, like protein powders and pea milk.

Snow Peas

This type of pea produces edible, flat, and relatively stringless pods with smaller peas inside. Common varieties of snow peas include Mammoth Melting Sugar, Avalanche, and Snowbird.

Snow peas are more common in Asian cooking. I enjoy adding them whole to stir-fries with organic tempeh and other veggies like broccoli and bell peppers.

Snap Peas

These are great snacking peas. They produce large peas encased in a thick pod that you can also eat. Snap peas are crispy and often sold in snack bags and sometimes used in Asian cooking as well. Common varieties are Sugar Ann, Sugar Snap, and Cascadia.

( Excerpt taken from the Food Revolution Network)

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