The fact that this legume is entirely edibleincluding the podaccounts for its French name, mange-tout (or mangetout), for "eat it all." Its almost translucent, bright green pod is thin and crisp. The tiny seeds inside are tender and sweet. Snow peas are available year-round with peak seasons in the spring and fall. Choose crisp, brightly colored pods with small seeds. Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to three days. Both tips of a snow pea should be pinched off just before using. They're an essential vegetable in Chinese cooking and may also be used raw in salads. Snow peas are also called Chinese snow peas.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.