Healthy chickpeas: large, tasty, oriental

Healthy chickpeas: large, tasty, oriental

Life is sometimes unfair. The chickpea comes with everything you would expect from a food: it is tasty, healthy, has a medicinal effect and is easy to grow because it uses little water and collects nitrogenous nitrogen from the air - like all legumes. And people can't think of anything better than dismissing the chickpea as "poor people's food".

Little effort has also been put into naming. Because the "giggle" in the name has nothing to do with cheerfulness and good mood, but comes from the Latin "Cicer", which simply means "pea". Strictly speaking, we call the chickpea "pea pea". We would have had enough time to find a more worthy name. After all, chickpeas have been with humans for an estimated 8 to 10,000 years, at least in the Middle East, where the oldest evidence of cultivation was found. This is why it still plays the greatest role in the kitchen to this day and is used to prepare delicacies such as hummus, falafel or the Schimitt pastry. In India, where the chickpea is also very popular, even the young plants are eaten as a salad.

The Germans, on the other hand, only really got a taste for it at the end of the last century, when the first Turkish and oriental local dishes with chickpeas were offered. The fact that the chickpea struggled for a long time also has to do with the fact that the plant does not particularly appreciate the harsh Central European climate and prefers warm, dry regions. Nevertheless, it was already known here in the Middle Ages, Hildegard von Bingen praised it as a pleasant food and remedy for fever. In ancient times, other healing powers were assumed and used among other things against fever, toothache and as an aphrodisiac. However, the supposedly love-promoting power was probably based more on the fact that the Romans worshiped the chickpea as a sexual symbol and considered it consecrated to the goddess of love Venus. Hence their long-used second name »Venus gig«.

At the end of the 19th century, a somewhat unfortunate attempt was made in southern German vineyards to help the chickpea break through here. A special variety was grown to make coffee surrogate, which certainly didn't do the pea's reputation good.

There are good reasons to enjoy the chickpea without much detour. Because it contains no fat, but it does contain 20 percent high-quality protein, various vitamins and plenty of minerals, including larger amounts of iron, which makes it interesting for vegetarians and vegans. However, raw chickpeas must be soaked for at least twelve hours and cooked for thirty minutes before consumption to destroy the poison phasin and the bitter substance sapine. Anyone who still calls the chickpea as puree, fried, roasted or as a side dish of salad as a "poor people meal" is to blame. (Jürgen Beckhoff, aid)

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