In East Asia, snow pea seeds appear to have been in cultivation over a much longer period than snap and shelling peas were in the west. Along the Mekong river, snow peas may have been in cultivation for 12,000 years. Snow pea pods are eaten while they are still flat, before the seeds have developed, and these were introduced to North America via Chinese cuisine. They are stir-fried, or even served raw. Pea sprouts and pea tips (literally, the tips of the vine) are also popular in Chinese dishes, served hot, sweet, and crunchy.