The fresh pea is a small, round green vegetable, which is grown in a pod and is generally harvested in the early summer. Also known by other names such as sweet pea, green pea, garden pea, or English pea, the fresh pea is grown to be removed from the pod and eaten raw or used as an ingredient to be added to salads, soups, stews, casseroles, and other dishes. Fresh peas are available as a raw podded pea or canned as a shelled pea, and frozen for freshness. Unlike Sugar Snap Peas that are eaten whole, with the pod and peas cooked together and not shelled.
Field peas, unlike fresh peas, are grown to be dried and then split or used whole for use in purées, soups and food dishes requiring thickening. Varieties of the field pea include the green and yellow pea (either split or whole), the chickpea, and the black-eyed pea. Pod peas, such as the snow or sugar snap pea are grown to be eaten with both the pod and the pea together, either raw as a fresh pea or cooked. Pod peas are often served in salads, stir-fries, and Asian food dishes. Sugar Snap Peas provide fiber, potassium, vitamin A and C for healthy diets.