In its quest for healthy foods Lotao has also unearthed treasures in Europe. Vida, or ‘life’, is the name of Lotao’s collection of pulses that includes three types of Spanish beans and an exceptional lentil variety. Among them is most probably the world’s rarest bean. It is cultivated in Asturias in northwestern Spain and harvested by hand when still green. Spanish conquerors learned about the Tolosa bean from the Aztecs in the New World and planted it back home. The origin of the Carilla bean is similar. It is nicknamed the “black-eyed girl”. Don Quijote’s favorite bean—the black pearl—on which he penned verse, has of course also been included in the Vida Collection. All products in the Vida Collection enrich vegan creations with energy and protein.
Smaller, yet more intensive than Beluga lentils: Don Quijote praised the qualities of the black pearls, this aromatic lentil variety.
Soak the lentils in cold water for two hours. Add additional water and bring to a boil. Simmer covered on low heat for 60 minutes. Add salt and seasonings after the lentils are fully cooked.
Providing a stunning visual contrast to white-fleshed fish, the lentils make for an elegant presentation. They are also a brilliant complement to pasta sauces and salads. Combine them with sautéed scallions, honey and balsamic vinegar for a delicious warm salad.
Lotao introduces the “black-eyed girl”, a smoked bean specialty. Smoking over a beech-wood fire infuses the rare bean with a delicate aroma.
The “black-eyed girl” enjoys long baths: soak the beans for eight hours and then bring them to a boil in the same water (some water should be added); simmer covered over a low flame for 60 minutes.
These beans are an excellent accompaniment to smoked fish or meat. Dressed with onions, salt, pepper, vinegar and oil they make a hearty salad.
The Verdina is the rarest bean in the world. It is harvested by hand before ripening to preserve its emerald green hue. The bean is small in size and delicate in flavor.
Soak for at least eight hours in cold water; transfer to fresh water and bring to a boil. Simmer the beans covered for an hour and a half; add salt and seasonings before serving.
Its buttery aroma makes the Verdina an ideal match for elegant seafood dishes.
Spaniards’ favorite bean for stews had to travel from South America to the Canary Islands. Only then did this ruby-colored treasure from the land of the Aztecs make its way to the cooking pots of Castile.
The bean should be soaked for at least eight hours in cold water before being transferred to fresh water and brought to a boil. Simmer covered over low heat for two hours; add salt and seasonings before serving.
Tolosas play the lead role in stews and can be combined harmoniously in casseroles, salads, and with fish and meat dishes.