Religion, folklore and now Facebook encourage us to give things up for Lent. And if you’ve got a meat-, alcohol-, chocolate- or sugar-shaped hole in your life for the next few weeks, there are centuries of history behind the foodstuff you could fill it with: carlin peas
Feasting on pulses is something the Hodmedod team are happy to do any day of the week but on January 6th we had two extra reasons to celebrate. As well as an almost belated Christmas lunch, January 6th marked the launch of the UN’s International Year of Pulses with hundreds of people across the world celebrating with a pulse feast.
The United Nations has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, with the aim of raising awareness of the many benefits of pulses and building their position as a primary source of protein and other essential nutrients.
Israeli archaeologists claim to have dug up the world's oldest fava beans, suggesting that beans may have been the very first farmed crop. Does this mean the paleo diet is old hat and neo(lithic) eating the new thing?
Perhaps surprisingly fava beans have a long association with Christmas and the midwinter festivals that preceded it, including a traditional cake that we think is well worth reviving.
Happy World Soil Day! Growing and eating more beans and peas can make a real contribution to healthy soils.
(Healthy soil photo courtesy Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Health Campaign, licensed under Creative Commons)
Four or five years ago, when Nick, William and I were working for East Anglia Food Link and developing the Norwich Resilient Food Project with Transition City Norwich, we talked a lot about lentils. We were thinking about what a more sustainable diet might look like for the city of Norwich; what would people eat if they were more reliant on local production? How would farming have to change? It seemed to us that lentils could be part of the answer.
Last autumn Christine Smallwood, good friend of Hodmedod and a writer with a passion for Italian food, sent me a small packet of Cicerchia (Lathyrus sativus also called 'grass pea') to try cooking with.
William is making regular checks on the organic quinoa being grown for Hodmedod on the sandy soil of south east Suffolk. We thought you might be interested (amazed even) to see just how quickly the quinoa grows at this time of year. I've stitched together two photos taken from the same viewpoint a fortnight apart - the difference is impressive.