This is the common garden pea, also known simply as green pea. The French are famous for their tiny, young green peas known as petits pois. Choose fresh peas that have plump, unblemished, bright green pods. The peas inside should be glossy, crunchy and sweet. Because peas begin the sugar-to-starch conversion process the moment they're picked, it's important to buy them as fresh as possible. Refrigerate peas in their pods in a plastic bag for no more than 2 to 3 days. Shell just before using. . Peas are a fair source of vitamins A and C, as well as niacin and iron.