Discover ABOUT U.S. PULSES
America’s strength as a nation is partly due to its strength as an agricultural power. The huge expanse of American land and the vast number of climates across the country allow the USA to grow a greater diversity of crops and raise more kinds of animals than other countries. The USA is producing more food than ever before. Better seeds and improved technologies—such as automated irrigation systems and tractors—have reduced reliance on human power while increasing productivity. As products of America’s innovative farming practices and beneficial climate, U.S. Pulses are known for consistency in their size and quality.
INTRODUCTION TO U.S. DRY BEANS
A large variety of dry beans grown in the U.S.
Some of these are like beans that grow in parts of Asia, but others are very different. Pinto and kidney beans account for the largest share of U.S. production.
Each has a distinctive flavor and texture. They have traditionally found use in the U.S. in soups, stews, and salads. Some are particularly suited to international cuisines. For example, black beans are well-suited to Latin American, Caribbean, and Southwestern U.S. dishes, while garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are especially popular in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.
In Southeast Asia, manufacturers have purchased Great Northern beans to produce canned pork and beans.
TYPES OF U.S. DRY BEANS
U.S. DRY PEAS, LENTILS, AND CHICKPEAS
Dry peas are the largest export item to Southeast Asia.
Green peas are primarily used for food purposes. In the U.S., they are often canned and served as a side dish or used in soups and salads. In Southeast Asia, they are used primarily for fried pea snacks.
Yellow peas are used for both food and livestock feed. Number 1 and number 2 grade yellow peas are mostly used for food purposes, such as in Indian foods (dal) and soups. Chinese producers buy yellow peas to extract the starch for vermicelli noodle production. Yellow peas in Southeast Asia are also used in fried snacks. In Indonesia, for example, yellow peas are purchased for fried snacks because they are cheaper than green peas. But, they are then dyed green.
Marrowfat peas are a larger and more expensive green pea. They are used for canning and for snacks, primarily in Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia. The U.S. has limited supplies of Marrowfat peas and most in Southeast Asia come from Australia and New Zealand. Snack makers like them because their larger surface facilitates the use of coatings.
Austrian Winter Peas and Feed Peas are primarily used for livestock feed. Feed peas are yellow peas that are number 3 grade and higher. In the U.S., about one-third of our green and yellow peas are used in pet food, because of their nutritional value. In the U.S., pets are overfed and are increasingly facing problems including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Lentils are a small lens-shaped pulse. Colors range from slate green, brown, and black to reddish orange, coral, and gold.
Each type of lentil has a unique flavor, texture, and cooking time, but all have similar nutritional profiles and are high in protein.
Lentils are becoming increasingly popular because of their short preparation time and versatility. Most are also relatively inexpensive.
Traditionally, lentils have been used largely in Indian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Spanish food. However, salads, side dishes, and a variety of value-added food products are starting to feature lentils more and more.
Here are some of the common types of U.S. lentils:
Green lentils – Pennell, Brewer / Richlea, and Estons are all green lentils, of varied sizes. The Pennell is the largest and the Eston is the smallest. These lentils have a mild / earthy flavor. They are good for chilis, baked dishes, stews, salads, casseroles, and stuffings. They keep their shape after cooking.
Pardinas are smaller than most other lentils. They are also known as Spanish lentils. They have a brown outer skin but are yellow inside. These have a nutty taste and are good with pasta-based dishes and Mediterranean foods.
Crimson / Morton lentils have a brown seed coat but are red inside. They are the sweetest and nuttiest lentils. Good in Asian and Middle Eastern foods.
Chickpeas are popular and widely used in Middle Eastern foods. In the U.S., people use them in salads and side dishes. A large and growing use of chickpeas in the U.S. is the vegetarian dip, “hummus.”
There are two main types of chickpeas, desi and kabuli. The U.S. mainly produces kabuli chickpeas. Kabulis are larger, lighter colored beans with a smoother coat.
Chickpeas come in a variety of colors, but the most recognized is beige. They have a buttery texture and nutty taste. In Turkey, Kabuli chickpeas are a popular fried snack.