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Aug 27, 2006 04:36 PM

Help with lupinis?

I found dried lupini beans in "European" grocery in Seattle. I bought them, thinking they were just a big handsome bean for soup. The cashier warned me that they are actually a sort of a cocktail snack that takes repeated soakings, boilings, and weeks to prepare. She suggested a google search for a recipe.

I googled and found a single vague recipe - 20 minute boil, followed by 5 days of once or twice a day rinsing and changing lightly salted water, thus extracting the intense bitterness.

Seven days later I have beans that are large, handsome, no longer bitter, lightly salty, and crisp as a raw carrot. I think this is probably not the desired texture. Anyone know where to go from here?

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  1. They are supposed to be a bit crunchy, yes. They're a cocktail snack, like olives or peanuts, to be eaten with beer or white wine. In Portuguese, they're called tremo├žos; Italian, lupini.

    How to eat: the transparent skin will have a little opening at one end. Take a little bite at the opening to widen it, hold the bean with your fingertips at the far end with the opening toward your mouth, and squeeze gently. The bean will pop out of the skin and into your mouth. Then you put the skin in a little bowl that you have ready on the table for that purpose. (Just think of how you handle olive pits.) It takes a little practice, but it's worth it.

    1. My wife (Italian) says they're good with cheese and grapes too, having grown up eating them in South Philadelphia. She said if you boil them longer they get a little softer, but the crunch is good. Her grandmother used to change the salt water at least twice a day - and they're better cold, refrigerated. You have to experiment to find the level of saltiness you like. My kids like them too.

      She was once successful finding them ready to eat in glass jars at a local Ralph's supermarket, but they're no longer carrying them. I can't remember the brand name but it was a major supplier of fancy imported olives and pickled foods and such, and seemed to be a middle eastern name... A quick Googling (I know, they hate it when you "verb" their name...ok, "search on Google") shows quite a few suppliers of the prepared variety in glass jars from companies like Ziyad and Castella, only about $2.50 each.

      1. Next time you should buy them already guess that explains why i payed about 7.00 dollars for a small jar....they are crisp...just remove the outer skin and munch away.....yummy, salty, interesting flavour. I buy mine from an italian bakery at there anti-pasto bar.

        1. Well, thanks for reassuring me that they really ought to be crunchy. I didn't mess up the recipe after all - I just plain don't like them. Oh well.