In France, it's the season for "petits pois" -- a green-pea hybrid developed in the 17th century for King Louis XIV. They are often served in a traditional way, swimming in butter and seasoned with pork belly. Other chefs pair peas with poached eggs or serve them right out of the pod. "You can be served caviar anywhere. New York, Hong Kong, London. For me, petits pois are my caviar," said Jean-André Charial, owner of L’Oustau de Baumaniere in Provence.

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