We’d had the International Year of the Potato. Then the United Nations declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses. As in beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. The motivation was both ecological and health-oriented and the UN cited the rise of obesity as a reason to eat less meat and more vegetable protein. So – pulses. Lentil doughnuts anyone?
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO):
The International Year of Pulses 2016 aims to heighten public awareness of the nutritional benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production aimed towards food security and nutrition. The Year will create a unique opportunity to encourage connections throughout the food chain that would better utilize pulse-based proteins, further global production of pulses, better utilize crop rotations and address the challenges in the trade of pulses.
They invited chefs around the world to share their best recipes using pulses. There were ten pages of dishes from around the world – India, Ecuador, Portugal, Italy, Senegal. From Spanish chickpea and spinach stew and red lentil, carrot and tomato soup to salade de petit saléde porc fermier cénomans aux lentilles, there were plenty of options to tempt you away from steak and chips. It helped if you could read Spanish.