Another month, and more to talk about. So many things have been happening lately that are in one way or another food-related, I hardly know where to start, so I’ll just pick one topic and we’ll see where it leads…
I am not a fearful cook. I’ve been whipping up one thing or another since I could see the top of the stove, but there are certain techniques for which I am aware I have no natural knack. Working with sugar is definitely one of these. It is both complex and mercurial in nature; however, my own lack of skill does not keep me from admiring and respecting those who do have it. So I dug around a little to see what I could find out about this aspect of cooking that truly is an art form.
It’s pretty pleasing to see more and more people getting on board with buying and eating more fresh/organic/local products. I suppose with the logistics and economics making the items more available, a greater number of people will have access to such things. Lexington has already welcomed national chains Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s to it’s fold, and a few weeks ago they were joined by Colorado-based chain Lucky’s, and I was curious to see how it compared.
There are few foods out there as versatile, well-known and loved as the chickpea. Depending on where you live, you may know it as a garbanzo bean, a chana, an Egyptian Pea, a gram, or if you’re extra scientific, Cicer arietinum. But you may not know the huge punch that these little beans can pack. Being a fan of them myself, I thought a little investigation into all their goodness (nutritionally and otherwise) was in order.
Chickpeas have basically been around since the dawn of mankind. No, seriously, that long. Although they were first cultivated in the Middle East around three thousand years ago, evidence of them in the human diet have been found at archaeological sites as old as 7,500 years. There are several varieties, including red, white, black and green; while they can be grown in most sub-tropical climates, the greatest producer of chickpeas is India. And I do mean the greatest: as of 2013 they were producing 8.8 million tonnes annually. That’s more than the following nine countries’ production combined. Show offs. (Just kidding. That’s actually very cool.)