Extra Helpings: English Peas


Hattie Asks: What are English Peas? Are these the same peas I buy frozen in the grocery store? How do I shell them?

English peas, also known as garden peas, are the same peas you find in the frozen-food section of your supermarket. The big difference? The frozen peas have already been shelled (although not peeled).

If you’ve never experienced freshly shucked peas, get ready for a flavor explosion.

It’s peas season NOW and it will be for a few more weeks. Choose moist, green medium sized pods (the larger the pod, the starchier the pea). Eat the peas as soon as possible, or refrigerate them in a brown bag for no more than 2 days.

Now for the fun part: The Shelling. I’m serious, it is the fun part. If you have a lot of peas to shell, sit the kids down, show them how to do it and turn ‘em loose. Or, invite a friend over for a glass of wine and some “shellin’ and sharin,’” as they say in Texas.

1. Break the stem from each pod and pull down to remove the string that runs along the seam.

2. Press the seam gently so the pod pops open. Remove the peas.

The peas are good to go, but if you want the tenderest, melt-in-your-mouth peas you’ve ever had, take one more step:

3. Using a paring knife, carefully make a tiny cut on the pea. Carefully peel the skin from around the pea. You will be left with the split pea.

Hard to believe, but after all that work, a pound of peas equals about 1 cup shelled. Is it worth it? You decide… but remember, its summertime, when things slow down a bit, and you get a chance to enjoy life a little more. Now, go eat your peas…





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  1. Pingback: Mama's High Strung™ » Blog Archive » Plated + Served: Pasta with Fresh Fava Beans, Peas and Lemon-Chive Vinaigrette

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I’m Christina Chavez

I was a TV journalist for many years, but with a house full of kids I decided to come off the road, go to culinary school and follow my passion for cooking. Mama’s High Strung is all about food… everything from creative recipe ideas to some really cool kitchen gadgets and cooking tips. I live in Chicago, but I love to travel and write about my food discoveries! You can reach me by email: mamashighstrung@gmail.com