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Monday, 29 March 2010

Pulses (Όσπρια)

A brief break from my travel musings to concentrate on the food of the holy times ahead of us...

It's the start of Holy Week in the Christian Orthodox world, a time which necessitates the strictest fast (shellfish permitted), according to the church calendar. Pulses play a prominent role in this week's cooking regime, leading up to Easter Sunday.

The following popular Greek nursery rhyme seems so apt for the occasion, reproduced from bizeli.com, an infants' learning site. Coincidentally, 'μπιζέλι - bizeli' is the Cretan word for 'pea' ('αρακάς - arakas' is the generic Greek word for 'pea'), an influence of Venetian rule on the island.

pulses ospria beans

Το κουκί και το ρεβύθι (The broad bean and the garbanzo pulse)
εμαλώνανε στη βρύση (were arguing by the water source.)
και περνάει κι η φακί (Along comes the lentil)
και τα βάζει φυλακή (who locks them up in jail.)
και η φάβα τους φωνάζει (The yellow split pea was heard to shout:)
"Φακίιιιιιι, βγάλτα, δεν πειράζει" ("Hey you, lentil! Let them out!")

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