Lenteja Pardina de Tierra de Campos
The IGP Lenteja Pardina de Tierra de Campos is a Spanish lentil, being the seed of the species Lens culinaris ssp. Culinaris, microsperma variety, Europeae group, intended for human consumption. The commercial variety is called pardina.
The plant material is derived from local ecotypes that have adapted to the growing conditions in the area over a period of many years and as well as from commercial varieties obtained from these ecotypes.
The plant material used is hardy, resistant to most pests and diseases, well adapted to dry climates and gives moderate yields.
Physical and morphological properties: The colour of the seeds' outer surface is brown or grey-brown with black flecks that may sometimes be speckles covering the whole surface. The cotyledons are yellow. The minimum diameter of any given seed in its narrowest axis is 3,5 mm. No more than 4 % of the lentils may have a smaller diameter.
Chemical properties: The minimum fat content of the dried lentils is 0,9 %. The maximum raffinose content is 0,3 g/100 g.
Organoleptic properties: smooth skin, softish skin and albumen; albumen somewhat buttery and only slightly grainy/floury; low astringency.
Broadly speaking, the product is grown in an area of 9,175 km2 which covers the following districts:
- in the province of León: the districts of Esla-Campos and Sahagún
- in the province of Palencia: the districts of Campos and Saldaña-Valdavia
- in the province of Valladolid: the districts of Centro and Tierra de Campos
- in the province of Zamora: the district of Campos-Pan
Within the following limits in the North and West:
- the northern limits of the agricultural districts of Esla-Campos, Sahagún (both in Leon) and
Saldaña-Valdavia (Palencia), between the rivers Carrión and Esla.
- the river Esla, from where it enters the Leon district of Esla-Campos until it joins the river Cea.
- from this point, the edge of the area runs roughly perpendicular to the Valderaduey river until it
meets the river. This border coincides with the outer limits of the Zamora municipalities of Fuentes de Ropel, Villalobos, Prado, Quintanilla del Olmo and Villamayor de Campos.
- the river Valderaduey, from the point at which it leaves Villamayor de Campos until it joins the
Duero, very close to Zamora.
Within the following limits in the East and South:
- the river Carrión, from the point at which it enters the Palencia district of Saldaña-Valdavia until
the point at which it joins the Pisuerga.
- the river Pisuerga, from where it joins the Carrión until the point where it joins the Duero.
- the river Duero, between the points where it is joined by the Pisuerga and the Valderaduey.
Method of production
The lentil is grown on plots with the following soil properties:
- Organic material: ≥ 0,7 %
- Phosphorous (P2O5): ≥ 100 mg/kg
- Potassium: ≥ 100 mg/kg
- Average altitude: ≤ 850 metres above sea level
The lentils are grown in rotation. Irrigation is permitted when necessary to ensure that the plants bud and when the Regulatory Council recognises that there is a lack of water.
The soil is worked to keep it free of weeds, very flat and with an adequate structure to permit healthy germination and allow direct sowing.
Phosphorous and potassium-based deep fertiliser is applied when the soil does not contain the minimum required levels of these nutrients. Organic fertiliser is used as little in advance as possible in the year prior to sowing.
The sowing period runs from 15 October to 15 April at a rate of between 75 and 120 kg of seed per hectare.
Authorised plant-health products may be used.
The plants are to be harvested when they reach physiological maturity and the seed has less than 13 % moisture content.
When the harvest contains more than 6 % impurities or more than 14 % moisture, it is cleaned immediately after being harvested and before being stored.
During storage the crop is to be treated for weevils in the 10 first days after the harvest, unless during this time it is transported to packaging plant.
The storage facilities must be clean, dry, well maintained and properly aired.
The lentils must always be stored separately from other products, never mixed with lentils from other plots and kept strictly away from any materials likely to contaminate them.
In the registered packaging plants the following processes are to be carried out in the order set out below:
- the lentils are checked for quality on entry to ensure that each batch is of uniform quality.
- the lentils are cleaned and foreign material removed by closed sieving with an air flow.
- the lentils are treated for weevils in the first 10 days after the harvest if this has not been done in
- the lentils are sieved and calibrated in rectangular-holed sieves, grain sorters and round-holed
- defective seeds are removed using a densimetric table.
- the lentils are packed in packs of up to 1 kilogramme (10 kg for large users).
- final quality check on packaging and product.
- labels issued by the Regulatory Council are affixed to the packages.
Dried lentils are marketed in the period between the harvest and the 30 September of the following year. This period can be extended, once only, by up to six months.
Bulk lentils may not be marketed under the Protected Geographical Indication.
Dried IGP lentils are classified under the marketing category ‘Top quality’ (‘Extra’) as defined in the Spanish ‘quality standard for certain packaged, dried (and decorticated) pulses destined for the domestic market’ or the relevant legislation in force from time to time.
Historical and literary:
- The Geographical, Statistical and Historical Dictionary of Castile-Leon (1845-1850) by Madoz
(‘Diccionario Geográfico-Estadístico-Histórico de Castilla y Leon (1845-1850)’) refers to lentil cultivation in describing the agricultural produce of the municipalities in Tierra de Campos. For example, it says of Medina de Rioseco: ‘Rich in bread wheat, barley, rye, meslin, lentils, peas …’.
- The document Rural crisis and recent change in Tierra de Campos (‘Crisis rural y transformaciones
recientes in Tierra de Campos’) produced by the region's Chamber of Agriculture (Cámara Oficial Sindical Agraria) states that ‘What is notable is the surge in lentil cultivation in the early 1960s, which looks likely to continue. In 1954 a mere 84 hectares in the Valle del Cea and 114 in the Valderaduey were dedicated to this crop. By 1965 these figures had risen to 1,250 hectares in the Valle del Cea and 615 hectares in the Valderaduey. High market prices make it a profitable crop, which uses mainly fallow land or that which could not be planted with wheat in autumn’.
garbanzos y lenejas), published in 1984 by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, states that ‘Lentils of the varieties pardina, pardinas franciscanas or pardinas francesas come from populations not too different from the’ variabilis ‘variety of the’ Lens culinaris medicus ‘species.
Medium-sized, they are grey-brown or reddish-brown, depending on where they are grown, with a relatively constant diameter of between 4 and 5 mm. They grow most easily in Tierra de Campos around Valladolid, Leon and Palencia and in the province of Burgos. Pleasant tasting and very soft on the palate, they are eaten throughout Spain, although in the areas where they are grown demand is greatest for the commercial types’.
- The Castile-Leon Book of Gastronomy (Libro de Gastronomía de Castilla y Leon), published in
1987 by the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Castile-Leon regional government states that ‘Castile-Leon is notable for producing the rubia castellana, also known as lentejón, lenteja de la reina or rubia de la Armuña salmantina, which in its place of origin is called gigante de Gomecello or pardina de Tierra de Campos, in Valladolid is known as verdina, very popular in purées and creams, in Burgos it goes under the name of lentejas de Villalta and in Leon is referred to as lentejas de Babia’.
The properties of the Lenteja Pardina de Tierra de Campos are conditioned by the natural characteristics of the area in which it is grown, in particular by some of its more distinctive aspects (climate, soil and altitude), which have led to the spontaneous emergence of a plant (ecotype) well adapted to this environment.
The climate is of the arid/semi-arid type, with average annual rainfall of 464 mm, an average lowest temperature of - 9 °C and average highest temperature of 18,6 °C. The coldest month is January and the hottest July.
The frost period lasts almost 8 months and the months with the highest rainfall are May and November.
These characteristics create moisture levels ideal for promoting germination in the most usual sowing period (November), and promote good seed formation (the following May) and rapid and effective drying of the seeds in June and July, when the temperature and hours of sunshine are most favourable, coinciding with the summer solstice and enabling the crop to be stored with no problems of fungus or bacteria. The low winter temperatures also provide natural protection against pests.
Soil: The main properties of the soil in the production area are: the high percentage of clay that is characteristic of Tierra de Campos; its neutral or alkaline pH; the low levels of organic material; normal levels of potassium and relatively low levels of phosphorous (although these are higher than in neighbouring areas). In order to obtain a product that meets most of the required organoleptic properties, the soil must have minimum levels of organic material (to make the product less floury), potassium (giving a more buttery and less astringent product) and phosphorous (contributing to softer skins, lower astringency and higher fat content).
With an average altitude of 750m above sea level, the production area is flat and has the typical relief of farming land with no major obstacles to working, although it is exposed to erosion. The land rises slightly in the north to over 1 000m, falling to 650m in the south-west, near the river Valderaduey.
Altitude is a very important factor since it contributes to a smoother skin and a more buttery, less astringent product. For this reason, plots are not permitted to be above 850 metres.
The pardina lentil comes from local ecotypes cultivated in the area for many years and thus adapted to the environment, i.e. they have the most resistance to drought, pests and disease.
Human and processing factors: Pardina lentils have been cultivated for so long in Tierra de Campos that local farmers have perfected the best techniques and know how to select the most suitable land, and they do not regard maximising productivity as a priority, but prefer to concentrate on producing a high-quality product that helps them rotate their crops by improving soil quality.
Reference: The European Commission