Although not widely available commercially, the vintage, sugar pod type pea 'Carouby de Maussane' has been enjoying a small-scale renaissance among heritage vegetable enthusiasts.
The pods that are thin, flat and wide and grow to 12cm (5in) or so long, they are very sweet and tender. They are at their best harvested when the peas are barely showing, but remarkably they retain their flavour even when they reach a huge size and don't develop any fibre layer at any stage. The vigorous vines grow 140 to 150cm (around 54in / 1.5m). Eight peas per pod is about average. Not that it makes much difference if you're eating the whole pod. The seeds are brown and dimpled.
The vine of 'Carouby de Maussane' are exceptionally beautiful. They are covered with beautiful lavender and purple flowers and the leaf axils are stained with dark purple. The flowers are borne in pairs and curl downwards, they change colour as they mature. Young flowers are a deep dusky pink, maturing through purple shades to a lovely sky blue. The wing petal, which is much less visible than on other pea varieties, is deep velvety maroon. The strong dark veining on the backs of the petals greatly adds to their attractiveness.
To be honest you could grow it in the flower border just for its beauty.
Originating in Maussane near Avignon in France, not only is the flavour superior, this beautiful plant has several unique or unusual traits and clearly differs from modern conventional peas. This heirloom is truly a gem.