Year-round from California and Mexico
When at the market, look for shiny, smooth surfaced pods that are bright in color. The calyx end of the pod should be vibrant and green. Pick pods that are full, but not puffy. The sweetest peas are in the medium width pods. Not too big, not too small. It is best to open a pod or two and sample a few peas. They should be sweet and tender. If they are hard and starting to sprout, forget it. One way to check for freshness is to grab a handful and rub them together. If you get a crunchy squeaking sound, they’re fresh! Fresh peas will also have a good bounce to them once removed from the shell, but I don’t recommend bouncing them in the store. Try it at home for fun.