Whole Green Peas are part of the legume family. Pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seedpod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum with each pod contains several peas. Peapods are botanically a fruit, since they contain seeds developed from the ovary of a (pea) flower.
Starchy, and sweet green peas or garden peas are one of the ancient cultivated vegetables grown for their succulent nutritious green-pods. Peas are probably originated in the sub-Himalayan plains of Northwest India. Now, this versatile legume is one of the major commercial crops grown all over the temperate and semi-tropical regions.
- Pods measure about 2-3 inches long, swollen or compressed, straight or slightly curved, filled with single row of 2-10 light-green colored, smooth edible seeds.
- The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams.
- Whole peas are husked and about 1/4 of an inch wide and pale green in color.
Peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bioavailable. Along with broad beans and lentils, these formed an important part of the diet.
Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks.
Whole Green Peas were traditionally cooked to a puree and then mashed to make a thick porridge. Peas often break down while cooking and therefore, they make an excellent choice for thick and hearty soups. Peas can also be used to make a mock cream soup for people avoiding dairy product.