The problem is finding them
Of course, when I say ready, I mean that some of them are ready, but not enough for an actual meal. The first pick produced a small handful of pods which, when shelled, produced around a mouthful of petits pois, not quite round yet. Not really worth cooking, so I decided to try eating them raw, as I’d heard that some people like them that way.
I knew peas were sweet, but only that they were sweet the way sweetcorn is sweet, or roast parsnips: vegetably sweet, as in not actively bitter. I popped the first tiny pea into my mouth and bit down and was rewarded with a burst of pure sugar. Why did nobody tell me this as a child? I thought, although of course everyone had and I just assumed it was part of the great adult conspiracy to get me to eat vile vegetables by hook or by crook (see also avocado). We sat on the step and just ate them there and then – I was going to say as a healthy snack, but it felt about as healthy as crunching up sugarlumps. If really fresh peas were actually available in the shops they’d have to have one of those traffic light warnings on them. They’re basically all sugar.
Now I know most of you will be nodding and/or rolling your eyes and saying yeah, everyone knows peas are sweet, talk about the bleeding obvious, but hey, I came late to the world of vegetables and it occurred to me that maybe I’m not alone. So if you have never actually eaten a freshly picked and barely ready pea straight from the vine, do it, because those little green pellets you’ve got in your freezer are nothing like the real thing. And do it quick before the children find out about them and grab them all.