Peas (Petits Pois)

High in protein, discover the health benefits of peas, a familiar French expression using them and links to easy pea recipes.

French market peas

Random Facts About Peas

  • Brief History: One of the most ancient of vegetables consumed in Asia and Europe as a dried vegetable (chickpea and split pea. It wasn’t until the 17th century that fresh peas were consumed, especially in Europe. King Louis XIV adored peas, and ensured his botanist, La Quintinie grew them at the Potager du Roi in Versailles;
  • Although categorised under vegetables, like the tomato, the pea is botanically a fruit as it contains seeds and is grown from a flower;
  • Are peas high in protein? They are indeed. According to Aprifel, fresh peas are also rich in fibre, vitamin B9, manganese and phosphorus;
  • Slightly sweet tasting. Delicious served raw, straight from the pod and in salads.
  • To cook them best to retain their vitamins, steam for just a couple of minutes. Add to sauces, rice, pasta; soups for a healthy last-minute touch;
  • Storage: fresh pea pods are best kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Fresh Pea Season

April – July.

Fun French Expression with Peas

Il a un petit pois dans la tête
Familiar/colloquial expression meaning he’s a bit of an idiot (literally translated as having a pea in the head). Although please don’t use in good company!

shelling fresh peas into a bowl

Fresh peas eaten raw as a healthy apéritif

Easy Pea Recipes

Although not noted as a main ingredient in many recipes here on le blog, add it to stews in the last few minutes of cooking. It’s a great way to make the most of them fresh when in season.

Paris Food Guide

From the kitchen