The name comes from French words “mange tout” meaning – eat all. They are actually young green peas still in the pods and picked before they have a chance to develop. The whole mange tout pod can be eaten and they have a crisp texture with a flavour similar to peas. They are available the whole year. Always look for bright green, crisp pods. You can store them for a day or two after purchase in the fridge, but fresh ones are the best.
They are very easy to prepare, just wash, then top and tail the pods. Mange tout are delicious blanched and tossed in salad dressing, steamed (for about 5 minutes), boiled in salty water (for 2 minutes) or stir fried (until tender, but still crisp) and served hot. They can also be eaten raw in salads or served with a selection of mixed raw vegetables as crudité with dips. Just make sure you do not overcook or they will lose their flavour and crunchy texture.