Personally, I have a romantic love for straight-up English shelled peas. They are really only good at this time of year. The rest of the year, peas from freezer bags are worthwhile but still something entirely different. Snow peas and snap peas are not quite in season the rest of the year, but they are still widely available, and they just don't have the magic of those fat pods, bulging with sweet, juicy peas.
So when I planted my garden this spring I just planted English (shell) peas. I am waiting for them to ripen right now, and the pods are hanging heavy on the vines, developing those delicious little nubs of peas inside.
It probably doesn't hurt that my favorite M.F.K. Fisher piece is all about peas. Have you read it?
• P is for Peas at Gourmet
What is your favorite way to eat peas, in or out of the pod?
Related: Recipe: Sesame Roasted Snap Peas