Your questions about lentils
Are Berry green lentils and lentils produced in Berry the same thing?
All Berry Green Lentils are both "Label Rouge" and PGI. Without both these quality indicators, they are not authentic Berry green lentils.
Berry green lentils are grown by men and women from the cereal farming, wine and saffron sectors. They grow Berry green lentils to boost their agricultural diversification.
They have to meet rigorous and exacting Label Rouge and PGI standards to ensure that Berry green lentils are always of exemplary quality. (They may not be stored at the producer's, no fertilizer may be used etc.)
How are they grown?
Berry green lentils up until harvest…
- Sowing takes place in March
- Flowering occurs in May and June; their little white flowers are streaked with violet
- Pods appear at the end of June with just one or two lentils per pod !
- A combine harvester harvests the lentils in mid-July, just like cereal crops
- The lentils are sorted during the summer
- Mid-September: the new harvest is taken to market; this is one of the obligations that come with Label Rouge and PGI certification. Satisfaction guaranteed!
How are lentils preserved?
Berry green lentils have a two year "best before" date and are sold the same year they are harvested. They are the only dried legumes for which this is the case. You can store them in their bag whether it is made out of hessian or plastic, or in a plastic container for example. The package and the product itself should not be stored in a damp place.
Tip: Store in a dark place; lentils are not fond of the light, otherwise they will change colour and redden.
Where do lentils come from?
Originally an Asian plant, lentils have been cultivated for more than 10,000 years.
Archaeologists have found traces of lentils in Neolithic sites and they were undoubtedly one of the first plants to be cultivated, even before wheat. Paintings and engravings depicting lentils have also been found in the temples and tombs of Pharaohs.
Lentils were widespread in countries around the Mediterranean. Little by little, they found their way across France some 2,000 years ago.
And we still eat a lot of lentils to this day; 90,000 tonnes are consumed every year in France, but only 22,500 tonnes are produced here. Imports from Turkey, China, Canada and even Australia make up the shortfall.
What is Berry green lentil flour? What can you do with it?
Berry green lentil flour is gluten-free; it is made from 100% Berry green lentils and has the same nutritional value. It is ground at the Chappe family mill in Bourges. (Cher – 18)
You can use it in sweet and savoury recipes such as for cakes, pancakes and blinis. Ideally, you should mix it with traditional flour but it's all a matter of taste.