No, I'm not referring to a spat between Gigi and Lulu. My adventures this morning involved a war over actual peas. While no blood was shed, resentments will run deep on both sides for at least an hour.
Yesterday morning I was wrapping up my bowl of oats with crunchy peanut butter and blackberry jam and thought some English breakfast tea would make a perfect ending to the meal. I reached into the box in my cupboard, which I never actually look at the inside of, and felt nothing. No tea? Inconceivable! I sulked over mugs of peppermint until today, when I headed to Kroger to remedy the situation. While there, I picked up some ingredients for a noodle dish I saw on Joanne's Eats Well with Others. Since it's an Asian-inspired dish, I thought some snow peas would go perfectly with it.
As I meandered around the produce section, I found the peas in a bulk bin next to the bell peppers and green beans. One drawer read, "Snow Peas (Product of Guatemala): $5.99." Its neighbor held, "Sugar Snap Peas (Product of the U.S.A.): $2.99." Well. I had set out for snow peas, but my wallet liked the sugar snap option more. I slipped a handful in the baggie and continued my shopping.
The check-out line was manned by a teddy bear teenage boy with cheery glasses and a Zen disposition. Teddy bear teenagers do not usually cook with vegetables, so I was not surprised when he asked me what type of peas they were. I was also not surprised that sugar snap peas were not in the pricing booklet, because that pricing booklet and I have had disagreements in the past. He called over a senior cashier, a middle-aged woman with the fashion and figure of Tina Fey, but without the charisma.
Charisma-less Tina Fey told Teddy Bear that he should ring up the number for snow peas, because they were the same thing. I said no, there were two separate signs for each type of pea, and I had the cheaper one. She flipped through the book and sullenly declared that she'd always thought they were the same thing, and she'd been working there for a year and a half, so....
Then she took the bag of peas, rang them up at the more expensive price, handed it to the barely legal bagger and declared my total.
Now, usually I don't make a fuss over these things. It's just a dollar, right? If she had at least asked someone to check the labels, then apologized if they were incorrect, I would have nodded and smiled and said I understood (even if I was privately miffed). But being ignored and treated like an idiot who can't read signs made shelling out $0.88 for a measly handful of pods unbearable. I said I refused to purchase a product for a different price than the one listed, abandoned the peas, and marched out with my other foodstuffs.
Or so I thought. When I walked out of there I saw that the peas were on the receipt and in my cart...and I was not in the mood to go back and resume the altercation. So I drove to the Kroger gas station, claimed a spot, and used their squeegee to wash my windows without buying gas.
My squeegee hogging apparently deducted karma points, because I drove over a dead skunk on my way home.
For the record, though a store may price the two the same, sugar snap and snow peas are not the same vegetable. Same species? Yes. But so are broccoli and Brussels sprouts, and no one would claim they were the same thing. According to Wikipedia, which is fully authoritative and never wrong:
"Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon is commonly known as the snow pea
Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon ser. cv. is known as the sugar or snap pea
The snow pea pod is eaten flat, while in sugar/snap peas, the pod becomes cylindrical but is eaten while still crisp, before the seeds inside develop."
So it looks like I'll be writing down every single product number of the vegetables I buy at Kroger from now on.