A London-based supplier of Mediterranean chef ingredients sourced direct from Italy has introduced a range of unusual pulses, beans and grains from the Umbrian region. The new line from IB Food comes from the Le Marmore farm in the nearby River Valley Natural Park where the artisan family owners have married avant-garde techniques with ancient, chemical-free farming traditions. Most unusual is a dried grass pea bean, Cicerchia, that's native to Umbria and can be used in salads, soups and side dishes and for making creams for bruschetta. Umbrian lentils are small, soft and ready to cook without presoaking, Orzo is a nutrient-rich, easily digested pearl barley that cooks like rice and Farro, a delicately-flavoured semi-pearl spelt, makes a good rice substitute. The 11-strong range also includes Zuppa rapida (a mix of pearl barley, lentils, black-eyed beans, white haricot beans and peas), Umbrian chickpeas, Umbrian small beans (fagioli ruviotti), large white corona beans, and borlotti beans. All come in boxes of 12 x 400g packs.
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