Monday, January 17, 2011


Organic chickpeas. Soak overnight then simmer 2 hours
in fresh water with a pinch of baking soda.
Salt after cooking.

They're called garbansos (-zos ) in the midi or south of France, and pois chiches in the rest of country. When talking about chickpeas in French one day, I blundered and said we could serve une salade de pois chiques. That stirred up my French friends because chique can either mean chewing tobacco, chiggers, or if you're in Belgium, chewing gum. Take your pick.

Improvise and improve
Be that as it may, communication skills in a foreign language, like cooking skills, evolve through improvisation. Make a simple and quick salade de pois chiches with any typical Mediterranean ingredients you might have on hand: parsley, coriander or thyme; olives, capers, chives, scallions, fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers; cooked and cooled eggplant, zucchini, etc... and splash with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. This one was made with just chopped scallions and parsley and came out fine.

Vocabulary lesson
Chique: chigger; quid (lump of chewing tobacco); in Belgian, chewing gum
Être du chiqué: to be a sham

Text & photos ©2011 P.B.Lecron

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