What’s the Difference Between Snow and Sugar Snap Peas?

Peas come in different varieties — with snow peas and sugar snap peas being two popular options that are often confused for one another.

Both are moderately sweet legumes that offer an abundance of similar nutrients.

While they’re comparable in many ways, they have a few notable differences.

This article explores the main similarities and differences between snow and sugar snap peas.

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Snow peas and sugar snap peas have similar qualities because both belong to the legume family.

Confusingly, the French name, mangetout — meaning “eat all” — is often used for both.

However, though they’re closely related, they’re still two separate varieties.

Snow Peas

Snow peas have been cultivated for centuries.

They’re sometimes referred to as Chinese pea pods, as they’re said to have originated from Southwest Asia.

Snow peas have a flatter pod than sugar snap peas and contain very small peas. In fact, most of the time, they’re harvested before the peas have fully developed in the pod.

Before eating, you generally remove a tough string along the edge of the pod.

Like sugar snap peas, snow peas are members of the legume family, but they’re the plant of the Pisum sativum var. Saccharatum species.

As they can withstand frost and snow, snow peas are generally available year-round, though their peak season is spring through the beginning of winter.

Some people believe that the common name “snow peas” stems from their ability to deter harsh winter conditions.

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