Monday, April 16, 2012

Trying: Fresh Young Chickpeas

Is it a bean? Is it a pea? Is it the future? Or is it the past?

I snatched these fresh chickpeas up as quickly as a 'Sex in the City' co-star would have snapped up some ridiculously expensive pair of uncomfortable shoes!

I spotted this bag of fresh chickpeas in my local Middle Eastern grocery store. They were pretty expensive at almost six dollars for the equivalent of 2 cups of shelled beans but I simply had to give them a try. They have a very unique but mild taste. They are a blend of fresh peas and the usual bean-i-ness that accompanies chickpeas. I ate most of them fresh from the pod as one is wont to do with fresh peas.

Fresh chickpeas have been appearing in the blogosphere with more frequency in recent years. The emergence of fresh chickpeas is framed as a unique, exclusive, speciality product. I imagine that during a different era, an era where all the chickpeas consumed by a family were produced by that family, fresh chickpeas were a spring/summer speciality that was widely used and consumed.

But the wonders of industrial agriculture has removed that diversity and given us a simple abundance of dried chickpeas. As a bonus? We have lost the knowledge and recipes that accompanied the summer abundance of fresh chickpeas.

But aren't we lucky to have imported strawberries year round?

I'd rather consume our diverse local product.

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