What is sugar snap pea?

Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon

Sugar snap pea or snap pea (Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon) was developed in 1970s by cross-breeding the snow pea with the green peas (The Wellness Encyclopedia).

Sugar Snap Pea myfavouritepastime.com

It is a variety of pea eaten whole in its pod while still immature. It can be eaten raw, or lightly cooked.

It has rounded and plump pods filled with extremely sweet, tender peas.

As the name suggests, they are sweet and crisp, and are best eaten raw, or lightly steamed, lightly boiled, sautéed in butter or stir-fried.

Cultivated Varieties of Sugar Snap Pea

There are several cultivars of sugar snap peas just to mention a few: Sugar Daddy, Super Sugar Snap, Sugar Lace, Sugar Bon, Amish Snap and Cascadia, (Wiki)

Culinary Use

  • They can be eaten raw or lightly cooked in order to retain flavour and texture.
  • Often served in salads or eaten whole.
  • They may also be used as an ingredient in stir-fries

To Prepare Sugar Snap Peas

  • Remove and discard the stem end and string from the sugar snap pods, especially in the mature ones. The young ones may not need to be stringed.
  • Serve raw or blanch for 30 seconds to 1 minute in salted water;
  • Stir-fry 1-2 minutes or steam, or lightly boil until crisp tender
  • or sauté 3-5 minutes in butter or olive oil.

Shopping For Sugar Snap Peas

  • Compared to green beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), sugar snaps are less common in supermarkets.
  • Fresh sugar snap peas should be bright green, plump and firm.
  • They should be able to snap when broken into two.
  • Avoid limp or yellowed ones
  • Allow about 125g (5oz) for one serving.

Botanical Notes:

Pisum Sativum (Pea)

Grown for green immature seeds sold as sweet garden peas

  • Pisum sativum var. sativum (Also called Green Pea, Green Garden Pea or English pea)

Grown for Mature Dried Seeds (pulse)

  • Pisum sativum var. arvense (L.) Poiret (Field Pea, Canadian field pea (spring pea), dun (grey-brown) pea, Kapucijner pea, matar dal, or Austrian winter pea (black pea)
  • Whole peas split to produce: yellow split pea and Green Split pea.

Grown for immature edible pods:

  • Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon: Sugar snap pea or snap pea
  • Pisum sativum var. saccharatum: Snow pea, Sugar Peas, Mangetout or Chinese Pea Pods.

myfavouritepastime.com Last Updated: June 4, 2018

Author: Liz

I love everything food: eating, cooking, baking and travelling. I also love photography and nature.

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