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Peas are a cool weather crop whose origin goes back a long way, maybe to northern India or Burma. By 500 to 400 BCE it was common to see them in Athens and Rome. During the Middle Ages in Britain people relied on dried peas to keep them alive during long winters
By the 14th century fresh peas were extremely popular Europe, specially in France where they were a favorite in Louis XIV's court. At some point in between they made their way to China where they were named hu ton or "foreign legume", and the Chinese developed the snow pea which is eaten pod and all.
Edouard de Pomiane mentions in his classic "Cooking With Pomiane", how on a trip to Paris from Morocco he saw the sailors bring out a sort of canvas cylinder out on deck, intrigued he asked them what it was for, the sailors explained it was for airing the peas, so they would arrive fresh to Paris markets. This was very wise as peas deteriorate quickly after picking, but on the other hand, they freeze extremely well, better than almost any other vegetable. Pease are very decorative too, and will enliven any dish whether in a nursery or a formal dinner. Treat them well though, cook very gently with a little butter, some cream maybe or a bit of chopped mint if you want them just by themselves.
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The best flavored of all the snap peas. 3 in. pods on 6-8 ft. vines. Highly recommended.
A rare heirloom bush bean (pea) that has long pods on top of the plant...