There's a Much Better Type of Frozen Pea You Should Be Buying

There's a Much Better Type of Frozen Pea You Should Be Buying

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Patty Catalano
Jul 10, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

When you spend as much time in grocery stores as I do, it's hard not to grow jaded and unaffected by the flashy packages and bold buzzwords. Recently, I tossed bag of "frozen petite peas" into my cart with little consideration of (what I was sure was) a marketing ploy by the multinational green pea conglomerates to upsell me. It was going in my shopping cart, regardless of fancy French labels.

But it turns out that when it comes to frozen peas, a single word — petite — can make a big difference.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn)

What You Really Need Are Petite Peas

Advertising gurus sometimes sell these tiny emerald orbs as "sweet petite peas" or petit pois. Compared to the standard green pea, petite peas are smaller in stature with a more tender skin, and a delicately sweet flavor.

Like corn, freshly picked and shelled peas lose their sweetness quickly after harvest, turning starchy and even chalky or mealy over time. Buying frozen petite peas is the smart way to serve fresh-picked flavor all year long — especially since this mini veggie has such a short growing season. The peas are cooked quickly (or blanched) and flash frozen to lock in the sweet flavor and crisp texture just after picking.

Ingredient 101: What's the Difference Between Snow Peas, Snap Peas, and Garden Peas?

Petite peas thaw quickly — just toss them in at the last moment, using the residual heat of the dish to thaw and warm the peas, maintaining that pop of fresh pea flavor.

Have you had these before?

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