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Nutritional Information

1 cup, peas

  • Calories 117
  • Calories from Fat 5.22
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.58g1%
  • Saturated Fat 0.103g1%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.051g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.271g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 7mg0%
  • Potassium 354mg10%
  • Total Carbohydrate 20.97g7%
  • Dietary Fiber 7.4g30%
  • Sugars 8.22g
  • Protein 7.86g16%
  • Calcium 4mg0%
  • Iron 12mg67%
  • Vitamin A 22%
  • Vitamin C 97%

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Peas on Wikipedia:

For other uses and abbreviations, see PEA. Pea Peas are contained within a pod Pea plant: Pisum sativum Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Division: Magnoliophyta (unranked): eudicots Order: Fabales Family: Fabaceae Subfamily: Faboideae Tribe: Vicieae Genus: Pisum Species: P. sativum Binomial name Pisum sativum L.

A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the legume Pisum sativum.[1] Each pod contains several peas. Although it is botanically a fruit,[2] it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.

P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter through to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams.[3] The species is used as a vegetable – fresh, frozen or canned, and is also grown to produce dry peas like the split pea. These varieties are typically called field peas.

The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas come from Neolithic Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from ca. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from ca. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan ca. 2000 BC, in Harappa, Pakistan, and in north-west India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC this pulse crop appears in the Gangetic basin and southern India.[4]



The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, widely grown as a cool-season vegetable crop. The seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches 10 Â°C (50 Â°F), with the plants growing best at temperatures of 13 to 18 Â°C (55 to 64 Â°F). They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates but do grow well in cooler high altitude tropical areas. Many cultivars reach maturity about 60 days after planting. Generally, peas are to be grown outdoors during the winter, not in greenhouses. Peas grow best in slightly acidic, well-drained soils.

Raw Green Pea Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 339 kJ (81 kcal) Carbohydrates 14.5 g Sugars 5.7 g Dietary fiber 5.1 g Fat 0.4 g Protein 5.4 g Vitamin A equiv. 38 μg (4%) - beta-carotene 449 μg (4%) - lutein and zeaxanthin 2593 μg Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.3 mg (23%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.1 mg (7%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 2.1 mg (14%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.1 mg (2%) Vitamin B6 0.2 mg (15%) Folate (Vit. B9) 65 μg (16%) Vitamin C 40.0 mg (67%) Calcium 25.0 mg (3%) Iron 1.5 mg (12%) Magnesium 33.0 mg (9%) Phosphorus 108 mg (15%) Potassium 244 mg (5%) Zinc 1.2 mg (12%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Peas have both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate.[citation needed]


There are many varieties of garden pea. Some of the most common include the following:

Alaska, 55 days (smooth seeded) Thomas Laxton/Laxton's Progress #9, 60 days Mr. Big, 60 days, 2000 AAS winner Little Marvel, 63 days, 1934 AAS winner Wando, 68 days Green Arrow, 70 days Tall Telephone/Alderman, 75 days (tall climber)

Other variations of P. sativum include:

Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon is commonly known as the snow pea Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon ser. cv. is known as the sugar or snap pea

Both of these are eaten whole before the pod reaches maturity and are hence also known as mange-tout, French for ``eat all``. The snow pea pod is eaten flat, while in sugar/snap peas, the pod becomes cylindrical but is eaten while still crisp, before the seeds inside develop.

Pests and diseases

Main article: List of pea diseases

The pea leaf weevil (Latin: Sitona lineatus) is an insect that damages peas and other legumes. It is native to Europe, but has spread to other places such as Alberta, Canada. They are about 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in)—5.5 millimetres (0.22 in) long and are distinguishable by three light-coloured stripes running length-wise down the thorax. The weevil larvae feed on the root nodules of pea plants, which are essential to the plant's supply of nitrogen, and thus diminish leaf and stem growth. Adult weevils feed on the leaves and create a notched ``c-shaped`` appearance on the outside of the leaves.[5]


Culinary use

Frozen green peas

In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. In modern times, however, peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bio-available. Along with broad beans and lentils, these formed an important part of the diet of most people in Europe during the Middle Ages (Bianchini 1975 p 40). By the 1600s and 1700s it had become popular to eat peas ``green``, that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. This was especially true in France and England, where the eating of green peas was said to be ``both a fashion and a madness`` (OSU 2006). New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time which became known as garden peas and English peas. The popularity of green peas spread to North America. Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate (Kafka 2005 p 297). With the invention of canning and freezing of foods, green peas became available year-round, and not just in the spring as before.

Peas in fried rice

Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mange tout and sugar peas, or the flatter ``snow peas,`` called hé lán dòu, 荷兰豆 in Chinese) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine.[6] Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest.

In India, fresh peas are used in various dishes such as aloo matar (curried potatoes with peas) or matar paneer (paneer cheese with peas), though they can be substituted with frozen peas as well. Peas are also eaten raw, as they are sweet when fresh off the bush. Split peas are also used to make dhal, particularly in Guyana, and Trinidad, where there is a significant population of Indians.

Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Malaysia, the peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks. In the UK, dried yellow split peas are used to make pease pudding (or ``pease porridge``), a traditional dish. In North America, a similarly traditional dish is split pea soup.

Dry, yellow split peas

Ärtsoppa is a traditional Scandinavian food which predates the Viking era. This food was made from a fast-growing pea that would mature in a short growing season. Ärtsoppa was especially popular among the many poor who traditionally only had one pot and everything was cooked together for a dinner using a tripod to hold the pot over the fire. When pork was available it was known as Ärtsoppa och fläsk and this tradition has continued to the present day. After the Christian conversion this soup was served on Thursday evening because Friday was a fasting day.

In Chinese cuisine, pea sprouts (豆苗; dòu miáo) are commonly used in stir-fries. Pea leaves are often considered a delicacy as well.

In Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, and other parts of the Mediterranean, peas are made into a stew with meat and potatoes.

Wasabi peas.

In the United Kingdom, dried, rehydrated and mashed marrowfat peas, known by the public as mushy peas, are popular, originally in the north of England but now ubiquitously, and especially as an accompaniment to fish and chips or meat pies, particularly in fish and chip shops. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added to soften the peas. In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pea to be Britain's 7th favorite culinary vegetable.[citation needed]

Processed peas are mature peas which have been dried, soaked and then heat treated (processed) to prevent spoilage—in the same manner as pasteurising. Cooked peas are sometimes sold dried and coated with wasabi as a spicy snack.


Bioplastics can be made using pea starch.

Peas in science

Pea flowers

In the mid-19th century, Austrian scientist Gregor Mendel's observations of pea pods led to the principles of Mendelian genetics, the foundation of modern genetics.[7]


According to etymologists, the term pea was taken from the Latin pisum and adopted into English as the noun pease (plural peasen), as in pease pudding. However, by analogy with other plurals ending in -s, speakers began construing pease as a plural and constructing the singular form by dropping the ``s``, giving the term ``pea``. This process is known as back-formation.

The name marrowfat pea for mature dried peas is recorded by the OED as early as 1733. The fact that an export cultivar popular in Japan is called Maro has led some people to assume mistakenly that the English name marrowfat is derived from Japanese.

Standardization of its products

ISO 23392

See also

Black pea Split pea Yellow pea Black-eyed pea Sweet pea Bean


^ Oxford English Dictionary - Pea ^ Rogers, Speed (2007). Man and the Biological World Read Books. pp. 169–170. ISBN 1406733040 retrieved on 2009-04-15. ^ Pea ^ Zohary, Daniel and Hopf, Maria (2000). Domestication of Plants in the Old World, third edition. Oxford: University Press. ISBN 0-19-850356-3 p. 105–107 ^ Barkley, Shelley (2007-05-02). ``Pea Leaf Weevil``. Agriculture and Rural Development website. Government of Alberta.$Department/deptdocs.nsf/all/prm11287. Retrieved 2009-04-05.  ^ ^ Gregor Mendel: The Pea Plant Experiment


Bianchini, F. & Corbetta, F., 1976, The Complete Book of Fruits and Vegetables. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-517-52033-8. European Association for Grain Legume Research (AEP). Pea. [1]. Hernández Bermejo, J. E. & León, J., (1992). Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO)[2] Kafka, B., 2005, Vegetable Love, New York: Artisan, ISBN 978-1-57965-168-8 Muehlbauer, F. J. and Tullu, A., (1997). Pisum sativum L. Purdue University[3]. Oelke, E. A., Oplinger E. S., et al. (1991). Dry Field Pea. University of Wisconsin[4]. Oregon State University (OSU). (2006). Green Peas, Garden Peas, Peas. [5].

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pisum sativum Wikibooks Cookbook has a recipe/module on Pea Sorting Pisum names USDA plant profile Alternative Field Crops Manual: Dry Field Pea