While sugar snap peas are available at the farmers' market in the spring and summer, you can also find the stalwart vegetables in grocery stores pretty much year-round. Invented (yes, invented!) by a farmer in 1979, they're a cross between snow peas and English peas. Snap peas have a thicker shell than snow peas, and the curved pods contain small peas inside. Look for plump, bright green pods and use them quickly—refrigerate for two or three days at the most. They're wonderful raw, shell and all, or briefly cooked in stir-fries or quick sautes. Most sugar snap peas have fibrous strings that need to be removed before eating—simply snap off the tough end with your fingers and pull the strings from the seams of the pod. Here, our favorite ways to use the crisp, sweet green vegetables, from salads to stir-fries to cocktails.
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