Stringless Sugar Snap Peas

As far as I’m concerned, these are the greatest things since unsliced bread. They’re sugar snap peas without those annoying strings, so you just need to pop off the stem end and cook ’em (or eat them raw). And they were definitely worth the extra $2 to $3 a pound last Wednesday from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm at the Union Square Greenmarket. Unlike so many hybrids (can you say seedless watermelons?), these do not seem to have lost any flavor or sweetness in the hybridizing. I’ve given up on regular sweet peas because they always taste chalky when they’re fresh, but there have been days when I’ve thought it would be more rewarding to shuck a few pounds of those disappointments than sedulously strip away every trace of the nylon-y strings on the alternative. With luck, these may may be coming to a farmers’ market near you. In the meantime, I’ve discovered slicing half-strung sugar snap pods crosswise makes them easier to wrangle. And enjoy. Also, too: I usually think of chives, mint, dill or cilantro as herbs for sugar snaps, but I just saw Elizabeth Schneider offers a Chez Panisse flavor combo: brown butter and fresh sage.

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