Until you have grown Mangetout peas and eaten them fresh you may wonder what all the fuss is about
Mangetout is French for “eat it all” and comes from the fact that the whole pea – including the pod – is eaten.
All peas are well worth the effort of growing, but mangetouts and sugar snaps are totally different from shop bought being particularly sweet and crisp
the reason for this is most peas are picked and harvested and frozen by very high tech machines so retain there sweetness were as mangetout and sugar snap are harvested and packed which allows them to lose there sweetness
this is them compounded by having the ends snipped of and this allows them to dry out as well so they lose there crispness
for these reasons if you are going to grow peas or only have room for one pea and they are pretty enough to be grown in the flower border I would recommend these varieties
‘Carouby de Maussane’ Originating in Maussane near Avignon in France, not only is the flavour superior, this beautiful plant has several unique or unusual traits and clearly differs from modern conventional peas.
The pods that are thin, flat and wide and grow to 12cm (5in) or so long, they are very sweet and tender. They are at their best harvested when the peas are barely showing, but remarkably they retain their flavour even when they reach a huge size and don’t develop any fibre layer at any stage.
‘Swiss Giant’ A real gourmet treat. Old French variety not in fact Swiss! Flat, slightly curved pods which are incredibly sweet. Classified as a snow pea, but not at all like Chinese snow peas. and also called a snow pea ‘Snow pea Gigante Svizzero’
Grows to around 160cms so a tall growing pea and needs good support either using a Pea Harp or a homemade netting support
Pick when the peas have just started to swell for best taste. Very long harvest period
Both can be sown Sow: from February – mid May and mid September – end November for overwintering and early peas