Meet the Global Bean Partners: Claudia Friedrich

What is your name? What are the main projects or organisations you are currently involved in? Can you briefly present their activity and your function?

My name is Claudia Friedrich, and my company is called heldenküche. At heldenküche we love good food and cooking. heldenküche is present in Leipzig, Stockholm and on your web-device. Our cooking philosophy is to spark pleasure with local, seasonal and organic food.

Photo: ©Petr Eremin

What we do:
As heldenküche/Stockholm we offer digital cooking courses as a

If you are interested in cooking with us please follow the links and look at our digital flyers. 

heldenküche/Leipzig organises the local weekly farmer’s market called Samstagsmarkt and also the cheese stand at the market. Come and visit us 🙂 . 

Slow Food and Global Bean
I enjoy being connected in those two strong networks bringing in my energy as an activist for promoting legumes.

Team heldenküche at the Slow Food Conference “Terra Madre” in Torino 2022 Photo: ©heldenküche

How is your work or organisation related to legumes?

In our cooking courses we highlight the power of the pulses.
One course for example is about presenting German culture to the participants. We cook lentil soup from Saxony, which is the state where I was born and raised. 
In our “Well served with little time” course corporate health management we cook a Shakshuka recipe that contains chickpeas. The result looks like this: 

What do you think are the biggest challenges a) for producers and b) for consumers?
  1. I am not an expert on this topic, but I think I heard that they are not so easy to grow and that harvesting them is rather labour intensive.
  1. Where I come from there are not many traditional dishes with legumes so I was rarely in contact with them growing up. I have heard that a lot of knowledge in growing and cooking legumes around the world has been lost during the last decades. Moreover legumes have been seen as a poor people’s food so culturally it is not a traditional pleasure food. Another obstacle is the long cooking time.  

What fact(s) about legumes do you find most compelling for their promotion? 

Legumes are good for our body AND good for our soil. That mixture makes them magic to me. Talking about “poor people’s food”: especially when cooking them from dried seeds they are very affordable. There is a current debate on “protein transition” where the question is being raised, how we can eat less meat. For me artificial meat is not a solution. I see legumes as the key element in the transition.
I cook regional and seasonal food and therefore the dishes I cook change with the seasons. Legumes make the base in my cooking because they are dried and therefore available during the whole year. The storage is completely uncomplicated: they wait in my pantry without an expiry date.
Legumes come in a great variety in forms and colours. I am fascinated by their beauty

Most importantly: they are SUPER YUMMY!

Would you like to share specific information with the Global Bean club?

With the Global Bean project, we have our next monthly meeting coming soon, Bugs and pests on the 25th of October!

Terra Madre in 2 years 🙂 

How did you fall in love with legumes? 

It was pea by pea: I always loved chickpeas and used them in my kitchen. Then I read more about the advantages in nutrition and cultivation of legumes and had this “magic moment”. I noticed that legumes can be the key element for a sustainable food system. Since that moment I became passionate about legumes, reading and talking about them as well as cooking almost daily with them.  

I am glad to have found passionate partners in the Global Bean project to promote this precious species. We organised the online cooking event “Give peas a chance” that was broadcasted live from the Terra Madre in Torino. 

Me as one of the moderators at the cooking course “Give Peas a Chance” Photo: ©Lisa Hoffmann, The Global Bean

The food system for me is the basis for a general sustainable development which comes right before world peace 🙂 . Some people call me a dreamer. Yes that is true. But a lot of my dreams have already come true. Therefore I call myself a dreamer and a realist. 

Do you have a favourite legume and why? Tell us about your personal experiences with legumes.

My favourite legumes are chickpeas. Like a Pizza Margherita to me they seem like the basis → easy going and everyone likes them. I am also amazed by the great variety of legumes and love to get to know each one of them. At the Slow Food Conference Terra Madre I was able to meet many bean lovers and producers. Here you can read more about my experiences. 

The Global Bean team at Terra Madre Photo: ©Lisa Hoffmann, The Global Bean

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