Lentilles vertes du Berry (Berry lentils)
IGP Lentilles vertes du Berry are whole dry seeds of the leguminous plant Lens culinaris, seeds 3.5 to 5 mm in diameter and 2 to 2.5 mm thick, dark green more or less mottled with blue, less than 0.1% of broken seeds and impurities after grading, cook in 30 minutes maximum
Berry: 49 communes of the departments óf Indre and Cher
Proof of origin
Plots identified; lots pre-identified before harvest; storage bins for unprocessed seeds identified; packaging by identified lot, and lot number marked on each packaging unit
Method of production
Certified ANICIA seeds, 200 to 250 seedlings/m2, planting depth 2 to 3 cm, no fertiliser, rational use of plant protection products, harvested at not more than 17% moisture content, approval of lots on reception, complete traceability of storage, grading and packaging operations
Cultivation introduced in 1950 and experiencing rapid growth for the last 40 years, providing a substitute for cereals and a first crop in the rotation for nitrogen fixation. Regional production accounts for 70% of French lentil production. The growth in production is due to:
- soil factors: the clayey-calcareous agricultural soils composed of rendzinas of the Upper Jurassic plateau of Champagne Berrichonne are fertile and easy to work and suitable for growing lentils.
- human factors: the farmers in the region have spent over thirty years developing cultivation techniques to improve the lentils' quality and yield.
- climatic factors:
• The dry conditions in March are excellent for enabling the lentils to become established
• The rains in April and May help the seeds to germinate
• The dry conditions in June help to stop diseases developing
The product is well-known regionally and has been progressing constantly since 1965. It is listed as part of Berry's gastronomic heritage and a lentil conservatory has been set up at Châteauroux.
IGP Lentilles vertes du Berry can be stored for a long time once they are treated. They are consumed cooked. The maximum cooking time is 30 minutes. They are ideal for creams and soups, together with other vegetables and rice or as side-dish seasoned with onions and olive oil.
Reference: The European Commission