Lupini?

emmers_m(9a/Sunset 7 N Cal)July 21, 2012

I visited an italian deli down the block from me for the first time last night, and among the various prepackaged products was something called 'Lupini Bucket'- a little plastic bucket of coin-shaped beans in salt brine. Having never encountered these before I asked what they were, and the description sounded somewhat like edamame - a salty snacking bean that you pop out of the skin to eat.

So I bought them, and on the way home looked them up on wikipedia and was interested to find that they were a species of bean I hadn't heard of before. I was wondering how I might grow them, as I was sure they would be a tasty and nutritious treat.

Well, my enthusiasm was a bit dampened when I tasted them and found that they tasted like I would imagine sweaty feet might.

So I guess my question now is two-fold:

Can anyone put these beans in context for me (beyond wikipedia)? Any personal experiences?

And is there anything I can do to make these things palatable?

~emmers

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denninmi(8a)

I've grown them, but only as an ornamental. The lupine it grows on is actually very attractive, with silvery green foliage and white flowers in typical, lupine like stalks. I've cultivated in a manner similar to fava beans, sowing quite early in the greenhouse, and planting out when risk of extremely heavy freezes is over but well before the danger of frost has completely passed. They seem pretty hardy as long as they're not in heavy soil, those I tried where it was clay got root rot and died.

They've made some pods and beans, but as I said, I never bothered to try to eat them. Haven't ever even tasted them. I just buy the dried whole lupini beans, imported from Australia actually, at a local grocery store that carries a lot of upscale, gourmet and ethnic products. 1 lb bag costs about $6, but has a lot of seeds in there.

They're pretty nice in the flower garden, as a late spring/early summer ephemeral, along the lines of larkspur, bachelor buttons, and California, Shirley, and peony poppies.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2012 at 2:49PM
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whgille(FL 9b)

Hi Emmers

Many times people buy new foods and if they don't know how to prepare them, they don't have good results. Sometimes they are an acquired taste.:)

I love lupini beans aka chocho in other countries. They do require a long process to make them edible...
I have to say that the ones that you get in the bottle from Italy don't taste the same as the fresh that I sampled in other places. I was in Italy last January and went to the market to buy fresh beans to take home and saw the lupini and I didn't take them because I know the time involved in processing them so I got a lot of cannelini all sizes instead.:)

Hi Denninmi

It is good to know that you got pretty plants out of them, I have never seen them growing, lupini beans are more of a peasant food not upscale, it should be cheap to obtain the seeds.

Here is a recipe for you that are brave, lol. I have to tell you that I like it.

Silvia

Here is a link that might be useful: lupini aka chocho

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 7:56AM
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Paul_30068(7)

My Italian grandfather got me into Lupini beans when I was very young. We would eat them while watching baseball. Experiences like this have me eating them to this day.

I have not grown any myself. I just buy them at the store. I looked into the process of doing so and the trouble of getting them edible seemed too much for me. There's a lot of soaking and rinsing over days of time to get out the bitter taste.

I'm thinking of planting edamame next year because my kids like edamame but not lupini and the effort is next to nothing to prepare them -- just steam and serve perhaps with a little salt sprinkled on top. Hopefully I can figure out how to keep garden pests from munching on the soy plants.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 8:36AM
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