Pulses have been eaten throughout the Mediterranean for thousands of years. Historically, they were seen as a poor man’s food on account of their high protein content and low cost. But can we really say that we know enough about this vital foodstuff?
From a botanical perspective, pulses are defined as edible seeds from plants belonging to the Leguminosae family. There is a wide range of different types, with the most popular in Italy being green beans, broad beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas and lupin beans.
In recent years, soy beans have also experienced a boom following the spike in popularity of vegan diets and products targeted at people with food intolerances. Another unexpected member of the pulse family is the peanut, despite the fact that many of us see the peanut as, well, a nut. In fact, it’s another type of pulse, rich in polyphenols, lipids and oleic acid and containing no LDL cholesterol.