3MCL Fresh Inc. of Los Angeles, together with partner Pea King Produce of Santa Maria, Calif., has launched purple snow peas, an exclusive new item for the specialty produce retail and foodservice markets, according to a news release.

Purple snow peas are similar in size and shape to traditional snow peas and come in a variety of eggplant-colored tones. They’re an excellent way to add color to stir-fry or other recipes or to an in-store display, the release said. They also can be used as a side dish.

They’re available in 5- and 10-pound cases and in 8-ounce bags and sold under the MCL Fresh, 4-Earth label.

Purple snow peas are the result of experimentation and seed development and are the first of a series of items the company said it plans to introduce.

“We have several new items in the pipeline that we will be debuting in 2010,” David Lake, MCL Fresh president, said in the release.

Established in 1993, MCL Fresh is a major supplier of specialty produce to retail and foodservice.

MCL Fresh introduces purple snow peas