Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eating Sugar Snap Pea Vines, leaves and Flowers??


Today my wife and I spent the day in Atlanta and like always we love to visit the Dekalb Farmers Market. We needed real vanilla beans to make pannacotta so we drove by and picked up some. We love the farmers market because it's an international farmers market and they literally have so many different fruits and veggies from everywhere, like the infamous Durian fruit that smells like a three day old babies diaper, rotten eggs, smelly feet and the stuff you smell at the bottom of a New York City Garbage Can, But taste like a banana mango custard. I ate one all by myself one time as my wife dry heaved her spleen out on the balcony of our hotel. It was absolutely delicious.
But back to the Sugar Snap pea vines, leaves and flowers; as we walked through the produce aisles we saw our wonderful sugar snap peas and they looked great. We kind of felt good because we were growing them ourselves and felt good about our accomplishment. But something caught my wife's eye. It was the sign that said "Sugar snap pea Vines" and more amazing than that was the price. The Sugar snap peas were going for $1.29 a lb and the Sugar snap pea vines were going for $3.49 a lb. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I picked a few of them up and they were the same thing that I was growing at the house; the vines, leaves and some of the flower buds for $3.49 a lb. I couldn't believe it. But it set me on a mission.
As soon as I got home I did some research on eating the vines and not to my surprise there was very little on eating the vines. One site made it a point that sweet pea vines are poisonous except the ones from the Sugar snap pea. So I clipped some vines and leaves and clipped some basil and I went straight to the skillet with a slice of butter and sauteed those jokers up and I was amazed at the delicate taste they have. They were absolutely delicious and fresh. There is one thing to note; as I clipped the vines I noticed that some of the vines were kind of hard and others were tender. If you are willing to try some Sugar snap pea leaves, flowers and vines, consume all the leaves, flowers and the tender vines. Talk about eating from the rooter to the tooter. I'm sitting on a Gold mine and I didn't even know it.

17 comments:

ChristyACB said...

I've never even heard of that before! I guess that is something to consider when a certain very bad bunny rabbit eats the growing tip off a vine to get at the flower and baby bean. Hmm...

ATW said...

LOL.... Christy Dekalb market prohibits the use of cameras. I wish I could have taken a picture of the sugar snap pea vines and flowers for edible use. As I said I cooked some up real quick with some butter over approx 2hrs from writing this comment and im still waiting for some bad reaction. It's interesting that it there is nothing really out there talking about Sugar Snap vines being edible.

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I am not so adventurous to eat the leaves and vines yet... funny how the "cost" of things changes when you can grow it yourself!

ATW said...

Melissa- My mom is from Liberia and one of their favorite dishes is fish head soup. yeah I know it sounds gross, but they love it. Well one day she went to the supermarket and asked for the fish heads that they were throwing away and the seafood manager just gave her a box full of fish heads. She did for a month, until one day when she went back and saw the fish heads on sale with the regular fish for more per pound than what the acutal fish cost. Simply amazing!!

Ruralrose said...

Great post, you sure can write! I think the vines were being sold to high end restaurants as garnish. That is how to make money from a garden for sure. Vanilla beans must have been very pricey - $5 each here. Do you think the market had more vendors than usual? Thanks for sharing. Peace for all

Sue said...

Boy, if there's a dollar to be made, someone will find it! Is that ingenuity or what? :)

ATW said...

Rural Rose- Thanks for the comment. Im pretty sure someone was getting them for free at one time and then someone realized how high the demand was and figured they would make a profit. Dekalb international farmers market is ran by ethiopians and they have an amazing selection of fresh produce with at least half of it being overwhelmingly ethnic. The vanilla beans were $5 for 4 and they come from madagascar. My wife and I was sooo amazed we grabbed two sets that came bottled up.

Sue- Quick story... My mom who happens to be from africa; her and her friends found a farmer who grew potatoes. They went to the farmer and asked him for the Potatoe greens, The farmer looked confused because he was thinking, "who the hell eats the greens from potatoes?" But with no delay he let all those african women gather big bag fulls of potatoe greens. After about two months when there stock got low my mom and her friends went back and to the farmer and saw sign "Potatoe Greens For sale" BIG LOL. MY mom jaw dropped.

Kenneth Moore said...

Aw darn, you beat me to it!

Sugar snap peas is coming up on my list of plant profiles. :-P So many greens are edible, it's so surprising! But for things like sugar snap peas, beans, and squash/pumpkins, which take up a lot of room per plant but with not a crazy amount of yield if you think about it, it makes sense that people would grow them not just for the beans/peas.

Although, with potato greens and other greens, you have to be careful in preparation, 'cause they can be poisonous if you don't cook 'em properly. Actually, so much of what we eat can be poisonous if you don't cook it properly.

But I am incredibly excited to try sugar snap pea vine/black bean leaf/chickpea tendril/pumpkin leaf sautee with garlic and butter and a side of noodles!

Kenneth Moore said...

Aha, here! I found a nice long list of edible flowers (there are some mentions of edible vines/leaves/etc, but mostly it's just flowers) and I thought you'd be interested in it!

I went for sushi with a coworker today and stopped by to pick up some nasturtium seeds, because I saw this awesome Korean recipe that I wanted to try (sweet rice pancakes with nasturtium flowers and syrup), so of course I have to grow my own nasturtiums. My coworker said something about me being a rabbit, but I couldn't see what's wrong about eating flowers... Like, broccoli, anyone? Whatevs!

ATW said...

Kenneth- Thanks for the post... Ever since my wife and I started to grow our own veggies we have come across so many neat things and im like this crazy fat kid in a pastry shop going nuts when I find something new. The sugar snaps actually taste great and I will be having some tonight. And Im not sure if my mom was eating sweet potatoe greens or white. It was one of them. Im leaning towards sweet potatoe being that it was a custom they brought over from africa. I may be wrong. Thanks again for all the information. I look forward to your post on Sugar snaps.

Steve Green said...

My Chinese neighbour begged me to sell my pea vines to him this year and said I would have a 100 more customers if I wanted them...and to think, i was only harvesting the pea pods! Does anyone know if they still harvest them after the peas stop producing?

ATW said...

steve- sorry to get to this post so late. But from what I gather as long the leaves are still viable they are good. They are one of the few that can be eaten

Gabriella said...

Sweet potatoe vines are definitely edible and good for you. It is eaten all over the tropics where it comes from. Regular Irish potatoes are definitely poisenous will not kill you but is not good for you at all. Potatoes wines, tomatoe vines and tabaco vines are all related. Eating or smoking the leaves will not kill you but is not good for you. All contain the same poisons.

Tofu Hunter said...

Thanks for the post! I'm also sitting on a bunch of pea vines and was searching the (surprisingly unpopulated) web on info about eating them. Came across your blog, entertaining!

Lani said...

I have some I may try tonight at dinner. I have a question some of my sugar snap peas never make it to vine because something? bug? rabbit or whatever is eating them the minute they sprout...Do you know what that may be and how I might deter them?

lucy chiang said...

Yes,snap pea vines are very delicious and expensive too! Chinese people always call the vine" big bean sprout" or soybean sprout. I've seen them being sold for 3.99 per pound in Chinese supermarket. I just found out through your blog to know the vines are from snap peas! Will try to sow these just for the vines! thank you!

luvasiangreens! said...

We always order the young sugar snap vines from Chinese restaurants! it's so delicious & yes, expensive at the Asian supermarkets sold fresh. You are not suppose to eat old vines! Chinese grow them to the height of 6-8 inches & harvest them to eat when the vines haven't had to direct any energy into making the pea pods because once you get pods, that's where all the flavor & nutrients are at & not at the vines.