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difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?

Posted by momma 
difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 05, 2007 08:05PM
Can someone please tell me what is the difference, if any, between sugar snap peas and snow peas? Several recipes that I've been keen to try recently call for sugar snaps, but I only ever see snow peas in the supermarket. Are they the same thing?
Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 05, 2007 10:00PM
Well, I didn't know, so I went a-hunting.

The botanical name of Snow peas is Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon.
If you do a search for the botanical name of snap peas you get nothing. If you hunt for awhile longer you get the same botanical name as that for snow peas. I feel a conspiracy theory coming on.......

They say......
Snow peas are meant to be harvested as flat, tender pods before the peas inside develop at all.

Snap peas have been developed from garden peas to have low-fiber pods that can be snapped and eaten along with the immature peas inside.

Snap peas are apparently rounder, sweeter and crisper than snow peas.


So I guess that perhaps, really, snow peas are a more immature state of snap peas, and I'm also guessing that perhaps, really, snap peas are a more immature state of your common old English garden pea.

I'm happy to be corrected. As I said, I'm guessing.

One more thing, it strikes me that some botanist from eons ago perhaps had a sense of humour as here before us we have the common name pea, and the botanical name Pisum.....................? :)

Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 06, 2007 02:38AM
I've only ever had sugar snap peas in UK - they are quite sublime (to die for with salmon) and just as J1 describes. You cook them whole and then eat the pod and all and nothing fibrous to get stuck in your teeth or the back of your froat.
I have bought them here on occasion, under the illusion they were ss, but they aren't at all similar to the UK ones. Very chewy cooked whole, even when de-stringed or whatever you do.

Snow peas are no comparison. Bland, horrible, tasteless as, useless bits of botanical @#$p!! :X
Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 06, 2007 03:24AM
My husband & girls grown sugar snap peas. They love them & eat them straight off the vine.
Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 06, 2007 06:46AM
I was in Mitre10 yesterday and looking at seeds and they had snow peas and I think it was chinese snow peas and the picture on the packet showed flat pea pod and then they had sugar snap peas which were slightly rounded, less than normal peas. These were seeds not plants and I can't remember which seed co they were.
Jean

Jean
Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 06, 2007 04:52PM
Sugarsnap pods look like normal pea pods when the peas are ready but you can eat the whole thing. [secure.digithink.net.nz] Snow peas seem to have a much thinner pod wall. When they are ready to eat the pod is still quite flat but you can see the little bumps of peas inside. [secure.digithink.net.nz] Once again you eat the whole thing. They are the same species but different varieties just like all the different types of cabbage are different varieties of the same species.
Re: difference between sugar snap peas and snow peas?
December 07, 2007 12:50AM
Thanks everyone, for all that information. It does seem that they are different - does anyone know where I can buy sugar snap peas? I don't think I've ever seen them for sale, just the snow peas.
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