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If there is one single food family that shows off the breadth and extent of the collective Greek culinary imagination, it has to be the humble legume. Together with wheat, beans of all kinds, along with lentils, chickpeas and split peas, form the very foundation of the Greek diet and have done so since Neolithic times. Over the centuries, let alone the millennia, country cooks devised dozens of ways of preparing them. They were such a constant presence on the dinner table, even before there were tables, that they had to be made palatable. For let’s face it, a steady regime of unseasoned or unsauced beans or lentils could lead to a family mutiny. The relatively large-scale consumption of legumes and cereals is another nutritional characteristic that markedly sets apart ancient Greeks from other European peoples. Legumes and cereals were the fare of the poor and constituted the dietary basis for the majority of Greeks who could not often afford expensive meat, both in ancient and more recent times. The most common legumes were broad beans, lupines, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans; also, quite popular was fava, a thick puree of broad beans. Given the fact that pulses were the stable food of the poor and rarely formed part of lavish banquets. Legumes are said to be used throughout antiquity and constitute an essential dietary supplement, since they are an important source of protein. They serve as nutritious food for men and important source during famine. Some varieties of legumes were used medicinally in the Roman period. Legumes have the ability to fix nitrogen into usable form and makes it useful in the fields and in health.
"Organic Giant - elephant" beans from...
Organic black beans from PESPES -...