One of the most ancient cultivated foods, lentil belongs to protein rich legumes.
Archaeologists found lentil seeds dating back to the Bronze Age on the St. Peter’s Island in Lake Biel, Switzerland. Lentils are grown in most European countries, Asia, North Africa ands North America.
Rich in vitamin B, phosphorous and iron, lentils have been and are still consumed in most Middle Eastern countries, and now Europe.
In the Middle East, lentils are simply boiled with chopped onions, minced garlic, salt, pepper and cumin. It is serves like a thick soup laced with olive oil
Lentils are mentioned in the Bible and French chefs created the Potage Esau.
Lentils from Puy in southeastern France are now often served along with roasted saddle of roebuck, or with roast game.
There are green and red lentils. Indians prefer the latter, whereas the former in salad form by Europeans.
Small lentils are more flavourful and preferred in the Middle East. Large lentils are grown in North America but lack the intensity of flavour of their small cousins.
Article contributed by Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage. Books by H. Berberoglu