Peas, Sugar or Edible-Podded

Pisum sativum, Macrocarpon Group

“Sugar pea,” as sweet as a pet name, is a horticulturally correct term for edible-podded peas. It includes those called mangetout (eat-all) in Britain and in France—where they are also known as pois gourmand and pois sans parchemin (peas without parchment, a reference to their unlined pods). In the United States, edible-podded or sugar peas are represented in the market by what we know as snow peas and sugar snaps. These eat-all types are a botanical subspecies of Pisum sativum, our common garden pea, an ancient Near Eastern plant that has been farmed for about as long as anything we know—“cultivated since 7000 b.c. (as long as wheat and barley)” writes D. J. Mabberley in The Plant-Book.