Are the pods of shelling peas edible?

higgin704May 28, 2011

We purchased RSVPea plants from burpee, as well as sugar snap. When they started growing, I accidentally ate peas from the RSVPeas thinking they were the other. They were very tasty. When I realized they were RSVPeas, I tried to google and see if it was safe to eat. It seems there is conflicting info on the web about whether you can eat them or not with some claiming they are poisonous.

RSVPea seems to be a name exclusive to Burpee, so I am having trouble finding the correct answer to this question. Even the woman at Burpee didn't know how to answer it. I'd like to continue eating them. They are really good. But I need to know if it is safe. Does anyone know the answer to this?

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All parts of the plant Pisum sativum are edible. Palatability is a different debate. Shelling peas normally have tought stringy pods. If this one is tender enough for your taste, have at it.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 4:24PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

They are perfectly safe.

Even when fully developed and you have shelled out the peas you can make excellent soup from the pods. Because you seive the soup the fibrous nature of the pods is not a problem. There are lots of recipes for hot and cold versions if you Google 'pea pod soup'.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2011 at 1:42PM
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The main difference between an "edible" podded pea and a regular pea is a gene to make "vellum" which is the clear, tough,sort of parchment paper like inner lining of the pod. If you are so inclined, you can peel that away on a more mature pod, and also remove the "string" along the seam, and yield a much more edible product. However, its a lot simpler just to grow snow or snap peas, which lack this gene.

If you have access to a university library, you could look up the following article and learn all about the genetics of edible podded peas -- they only give the first few pages online.

No, it won't poison you -- it will just be tough to chew.

Here is a link that might be useful: Genetics of snap peas abstract

    Bookmark   May 31, 2011 at 2:55PM
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Holy cow, flora uk... I'd never heard of pea pod soup. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 4:03PM
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Only some kind of Sweet Peas, (the flowing kind) are poison, and they are a dif species.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 8:33AM
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