The fresh pea season is very brief, so Italians try to make the most of it. The best peas are those you grow yourself. If that is not possible, buy them directly from a farm. Peas, like corn, lose their sweetness and become starchy if they are not eaten soon after they are picked.
When buying peas in the pod, do not buy them if they are large, as they are probably overgrown. Avoid soft, flabby pods. Frozen peas are often a lot better than fresh because they are picked when ripe and then quickly frozen, which preserves their flavor.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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