2016 International Year of Pulses

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2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Sat Jan 16, 2016 8:08 am

United Nations and FAO have declared this year as the International Year of Pulses and Legumes.man important step towards the promotion of this traditional food that seems to be a bit forgotten http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52505#.Vpn1fK-kqrU
Pulses have traditionally been an important part of Italy's diet, where some of the best pulses in the world are produced. Cereals and legumes were the basis of Ancient Rome's diet. Words such as Castelluccio lentils, cannelloni and borlotti beans immediately come to mind and they are all delicious. Whether in soups (minestrone), ste es, combinen with pasta or in health y salada, they should play an important role in our daily diet. They contain excellent nutrients and also have a low glycemic index, which makes them ideal for those on a diet or diabetics.
In Italy we can buy them everywhere, both as dried and canned forms. For those who need to restrict their salt intake, it would be advisable to avoid the canned varieties as they tend to contain too much salt. On the other hand, you can always boil a larger amount, use whatever amount you need and freeze the rest. Very easy. 
Enjoy!
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Angela Fuller on Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:35 am

Question Gala.......Why is so much salt added to canned varieties and customers not given the choice of salt or no salt (in water).  I think maybe Lidls do offer the 'just in water' -  no salt added to cans but most of the other supermarkets don't give you the choice.  Tins can be more instant....no need to soak the pulses and boil but not particulary environmently friendly. Maybe some innotive supplier could package the pulses in cardboard boxes, you do see minestrone mixes in them......Your thoughts ?
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Angela Fuller on Sun Jan 17, 2016 5:47 am

As I have touched on the re-cycling of tins subject.....Another rant of mine is why are eggs being sold in plastic boxes instead of cardboard ones.....Plastic is another difficult to re-cycle product....all very odd....
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:15 am

Angie, salt or sodium chloride has a variety of uses, but it mainly enhances flavor so manufacturers tend to use quite a bit more of it than they should. Fortunately, medical evidence is nowadays widely available, showing that too much salt in our diets causes havoc to our blood pressure and I am confident that we will see more and more "low sodium content" products becoming available.
Yes, preparing pulses at home may take more time and effort, with the exception of lentils, which do not require soaking, just rinsing.
There is a way to get rid of at least 40% of the sodium in canned beans and vegetables, which is thoroughly rinsing them. 
I totally agree with you, packaging is gone overboard and the use of non-recyclable materials is a real worry.
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Flip on Sun Jan 17, 2016 8:44 pm

Angie, Esselunga do package their Beans (Fagoli, Berlotti & another variety, the name escapes me) in cardboard boxes akin to tetra packs, but sadly they are as difficult to recycle.
On another note Gala, Bagni Di Lucca is now Recycle only, all the big bins have gone and there are daily house/roadside collections for different waste categories, be prepared for chaos.
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:32 pm

Thanks, Flip. I heard about it... A bit worrying, as similar experiments in other countries have failed... We will have to wait and see...
Going back to the topic of pulses, I have seen quite a few posts about where to get cans of baked beans. There is a great recipe for Italian style baked beans, which is simple and delicious, by Giada de Laurentiis http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/italian-style-baked-beans-recipe.html
Enjoy!
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:21 am

Flip wrote:Angie, Esselunga do package their Beans (Fagoli, Berlotti & another variety, the name escapes me) in cardboard boxes akin to tetra packs, but sadly they are as difficult to recycle.On another note Gala, Bagni Di Lucca is now Recycle only, all the big bins have gone and there are daily house/roadside collections for different waste categories, be prepared for chaos.

Well that is good news Flip.  Unfortunately, there are no Esselungas here that I know of.  I wonder why tetra packs are difficult to recycle ?  I thought they just went in the cardboard re-cycling bag.  We have had to re-cycle here for years.....unfortunately no door to door collection unless you live on the main road or in a town, it's a trip up a mouintain in the car, somehow it just doesn't make sense !
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jan 18, 2016 5:26 am

Gala, II can't seemto get the link to work for 'Italian baked beans' recipe, probably me.....I buy B beans in Lidls, quite tasty and not too sweet or salty...can recommend them.
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:59 am

Let's see if it works now, Angie Italian style baked beans
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Angela Fuller on Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:39 am

Yes Gala, works perfectly, have book-marked it, will give it a go when the snow goes...need some dijon mustard.....shelf in spice cupboard has collapsed and I need to replace quite a few things.......!!!!
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jan 18, 2016 7:50 am

This is an excellent guide covering preparation of all kind of pulses. I prefer to start cooking lentils in COLD water, instead of adding them to boiling water, as it is done with the rest of pulses.
Cooking and storing pulses
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Flip on Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:02 am

Tetra Packs a a bit of a recycling nightmare as the contain card, plastic and aluminium, so basically impossible to recycle unless you break them down into basic constituents by mashing and flushing with water.
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by alan h on Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:47 am

Flip wrote:Tetra Packs a a bit of a recycling nightmare as the contain card, plastic and aluminium, so basically impossible to recycle unless you break them down into basic constituents by mashing and flushing with water.

Check with your Comune - ours categorises Tetra Packs as 'Paper/Cardboard' for recycling purposes
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Lentils from Casteluccia v from the local supermarket

Post by clombardelli on Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:53 am

I often take a trip up to Casteluccia during the summer and one of their local specialities are their lentils - normally selling at around E9 per kilo.  Supposedly the best in Italy.  I can't say that i can tell the difference between these and what you can buy at the local supermarket for around E2 per kilo.  Anyone else tried them.

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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:42 pm

Yes, I have and they are very good. The traditional recipe is Lenticchie di Casteluccio con Cotechino, a traditional dish served to celebrate the New Year. Personally, I prefer other preparations, although it is a matter of taste. 
This particular lentil is very special and worth the difference in price. There is only one similar lentil in the world, the "pardina" also found in a small number of areas in Spain and quite possibly they all come from the same original variety. Here are some reasons why this particular lentil is so special http://www.academiabarilla.com/the-italian-food-academy/fruit-vegetables/lenticchia-castelluccio-norcia.aspx
Also, regarding the price of pulses, although the majority sell for about 2€ a packet you can also find that certain varieties can cost up to 20 or 30 €... They are limited productions. Same thing happens with champagne and bubbly Razz
As for whether it is worth the price... This explains why I do not favour cotechino or sausage with them. I think that they detract from the real favour of these lentils...
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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Geotherm on Mon Jan 18, 2016 4:15 pm

Must admit that I am not that keen on lentils. Probably had them in a few dishes in the last 10 years, but not inspiring.

As regards to this new recycling, then we have no door to door collection, so paper etc gets burnt, plastic etc is dumped by the bin, as suggested by the commune office. Last time we went to get recycling bags, we were told there are none, so it now goes in carrier bags or bin liners.
Seems there is a lot now thrown onto the grass verges, so good for rats and the feral animals.

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Re: 2016 International Year of Pulses

Post by Gala Placidia on Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:36 am

Geo, you may not like lentils, but, as you enjoy Asian food, I am certain that you enjoy this marvelous pulse Adzuki beans 
I am sure that you can get red bean paste through one of the Asian food suppliers that you know, although the actual bean can be more difficult to buy. In any case, most enjoyable and an excellent source of nutrients.
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