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I've only ever seen green peas in snow peas or snap peas, in the frozen food section, or in the bulk/dried foods section. When a recipe asks for x cups of fresh peas, does that mean I have strip them from the pods? Seems rather wasteful, unless I cooked the pods, which just seems odd.

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Note that to get good green peas, the instructions start with "as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig..." –  Marti Aug 9 '13 at 20:33
    
Peas freeze beautifully. Defrosted, high quality frozen peas are virtually indistinguishable from fresh. Every summer fresh peas become available up here for a couple of weeks, they're nice, especially in salads, but for any application that requires the peas to be cooked, frozen is fine. –  Jolenealaska Feb 24 at 2:22

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Yes, you would remove the peas from the pods. Chocolate and Zucchini shows how to do it efficiently.

And no, the pods are not normally eaten, although according to The Splendid Table you can.

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really? Snow peas and snap peas are used in Chinese cuisine all the time (with the pods) –  MarkE Aug 9 '13 at 17:11
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Those are different varieties with different properties. –  SAJ14SAJ Aug 9 '13 at 17:14
    
There are different types of snow and snap peas? I thought there was only one type at the supermarket. How do I know which to get for fresh pea soup then? –  MarkE Aug 9 '13 at 17:24
    
    
@MarkE no, there are different types of peas. Snow, snap, and pod. The pod type have very thin skins, almost papery, and much larger peas inside them than the snow or snap types. See damseeds.ca/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=152 for example and compare "main season" to snow/sugar - lots of pics –  Kate Gregory Aug 10 '13 at 0:08

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