Have you ever made pea balls? Good old Latvian dishes are good ideas for eating peas in a tastier way. It is very important for Latvians to honor the traditions. As Latvians live according to the Solar calendar, every holiday in the year has an important ritual meaning. Just like the food that is brought
My name is Rūta Beirote and I represent, together with my sister Santa, the farm and family of the Zutini house. Together with our parents and children we run a small farm, where we grow cereals, tomatoes and also legumes – beans and peas.
I am a member of Slow Food Straupe, so the traditions and ideas of Slow Food are respected on our farm as well.
Zutini is the biggest bean farm, so besides the popular varieties, we also grow old and protectable varieties of beans and peas. We keep a collection of beans collected from all over Latvia, which allows us to present at least 200 varieties at the moment and show how colourful a country can be.
At the same time we collect interesting beans and peas from all over the world, to show the population of legumes for inter-elements. Like a small bean museum.
So, with the legumes, we work on two social projects:
1. Education of children
Through legumes we teach biodiversity, modification of natural varieties, cultivation and seed saving. Schools and kindergartens can also get interesting beans from us for their playgrounds and lessons.
2. Exchange of knowledge between older people
Giving and receiving. We travel by car and visit senior citizens’ associations to look for old knowledge, varieties and also to cook together. We share new ideas on how to prepare legumes outside the traditional methods.
But the knowledge must be used, which is why we also work as seed keepers and conservators. We encourage people to grow beans - as food and as flowers.
And we invite people to eat beans, giving cooking tips and many traditional and modern recipes on our homepage and FB page.
Global Bean projects we are involved in:
Big Grey peas with bacon are a “must have” on Latvians Christmas table. When you ask a Latvian “What is the national dish of your country?”, Big grey peas with bacon is usually the first thing that comes up. Peas with bacon are both the food with which we identify ourselves as a nation, and
The Fava beans have been known for centuries in traditional Latvian cuisine. They were the first ones brought to Latvia and Baltics, and were the main food (along with brown peas) until potatoes arrived and took the first place. Nowadays, boiled Fava beans are the Latvian traditional summer meal. In this article, I’m gonna show