Degree in Peas & Beans

It’s starting to feel like fall around here. The leaves are just beginning to change to shades of bright yellow and golden amber and vibrant red. The weather has turned decidedly cooler, so much so that I had to turn on the heat for the first time this past weekend. I even made a lovely bean soup, filled with layers and layers of flavor and color.

Beans: a History by Ken Albala

Beans: a History by Ken Albala

Making soup leads me to recall that beans by another name are legumes and legumes are also known as pulses. It is the mature seeds that grow inside pods that we call peas, beans and lentils. We call some peas beans, and some of the beans peas, but lentils are always called lentils.

The garbanzo bean (also known as the chickpea) is both a bean and a pea, so it is called a legume.

But fear not. There will not be a quiz on this subject matter. Though if you want to know more about the dizzying array of legumes, may I heartily suggest Ken Albala’s book, Beans: A History.  He offers a virtual college course on beans in his book.