After being regarded with suspicion during the Middle Ages, lentils regained popularity in 18th century France. The woman behind this trend was Marie Leszczynska, the Polish-born wife of Louis XV, who ruled from 1715 to 1774. Marie was the longest-serving queen consort of France and the mother of kings—and she had a penchant for lentils. Lentils soon became very popular among the royalty of France, and they were nicknamed “the queen’s lentils”.
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Today, doctors and health professionals recognize the amazing superfood health benefits of Lentils, but in Medieval Times, Lentils were regarded with doubt and suspicion. Doctors of the Middle Ages taught that Lentils were difficult to digest, affected the sight, and even caused epilepsy and nightmares!
Welcome to another installment of Lentils Through History! Lentils were a very common food in two of the most famous civilizations of the ancient world: Greece and Rome. By 6,000 B.C., Lentils were cultivated in Classical Greece. Together, wheat, barley, and lentils were the agricultural staples of early Greek culture. Lentils were commonly enjoyed in a type of lentil soup called phake.
Enjoy your lentils Roman style! This recipe comes from a book written by the Roman physician Anthimus around 500 B.C. “Lentils are good when washed and carefully boiled in fresh water. Make sure that the first lot of water is poured away, and a second lot of water added as required, but not too much, and then boil the lentils slowly on the stove. When they are cooked, add for seasoning a little vinegar, together with the addition of that spice which is called Syrian sumach. Sprinkle a spoonful of this spice over the lentils while they are still on … Read More
Welcome to our new Bean Blog! Over the next few weeks, we will explore the fascinating history of lentils through a series of blog posts and recipes. Check back each week for a new installment and a historical recipe you can cook! This week, celebrate the history of lentils with a bowl of Spicy Egyptian Lentil Soup. Did you know that humans have been eating lentils since prehistoric times? Lentils were a staple for ancient Near-Eastern and European cultures, and were most likely the very first cultivated crop.
Way back in 1150 BC, Rameses III was enjoying a delicious soup like this one! His burial temple depicts a servant girl preparing lentil stew. But don’t worry – you don’t have to be a Pharaoh to enjoy this special lentil soup. This soup is inexpensive and easy to make, and offers a wonderful twist on ordinary lentil stew. This recipe makes 6-8 servings of soup.