Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
Peas come from a climbing plant native to the Mediterranean area, and are eaten immature both in the pods and as shelled green seeds (their tender shoots, stems, and leaves are also popular vegetables in Asia). Vegetable varieties of pea were first developed in the 17th century, beginning in Holland and then in England, and for a long time they remained luxury foods. There are several different types of pod peas, including the traditional English or European, round and thin-walled, the very recent “sugar snap” pea, round and thick-walled and quite crunchy, and “snow” or Asian peas, flat and broad, thin-walled, with small seeds. Peas and green capsicum “bell peppers” contain similar and very potent “green” aroma compounds (isobutyl methoxypyrazines).