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Ready-to-eat chickpeas a first for SA

Eat | Drink | Explore

Local paddock-to-plate food producer Pangkarra has just released South Australia’s first line of cooked, ready-to-serve chickpeas as an alternative to imported canned products.

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The chickpeas are sourced from a collection of growers from the Mid North of South Australia to the York Peninsula – including from Pangkarra’s own property Anama Park in the Clare Valley – and processed by Prestige Foods in Victoria. They are packed without preservatives in 450g flexible retort pouches.

“We select Kabuli chickpeas, which are all exactly 8 millimetres in size, so they cook evenly under pressure to produce a consistently firm cooked chickpea with a texture and quality just like if you have soaked them yourself at home,” says Pangkarra manager Katherine Maitland.

Fifth-generation farmers, the Maitland family grows chickpeas and faba beans in rotation with wheat crops – their primary enterprise – for the vital nutrients the legumes add to the soil. In 2011, the family decided to value add to its wheat crop by producing paddock-to-plate wholegrain pasta and flour.

“Australia is one of the biggest exporters of legumes and we don’t consume them domestically,” says Katherine Maitland. “We received a food manufacturing grant through PIRSA to get Australian consumers to eat more Australian pulses.”

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Pankgarra cooked chickpeas. Photo: supplied

As well as the 450g pre-cooked chickpea packs ($6.60), Pangkarra has worked with TruTaste Nut Wholesalers in Victoria to develop a range of snack foods produced from South Australian-grown chickpeas, faba beans and broad beans.

The 200g snack pack range includes Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic and Sea Salt, Roasted Bean Mix with Lemon, Thyme, Black Pepper and Sea Salt (split faba and broad beans), and Roasted Chickpeas and Faba Beans with Rosemary and Sea Salt ($5.95 each).

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Pangkarra roasted chickpea and bean snacks. Photo: supplied

“This is a huge step forward for Pangkarra, as the products we produce have traditionally been wheat-based, yet as we are growing chickpeas, lentils and faba beans on farm for other markets, it made sense to value-add to pulses as well,” Maitland says

As this year is the International Year of the Pulse, Pangkarra is hosting Lentil Underground author Liz Carlisle for an on-farm lunch and discussion about sustainable agriculture and farmgate vertical integration as part of the Tasting Australia program on May 1. Carlisle is a Fellow at the Berkeley Food Institute at the University of California. Tickets are $110 per person. The full Tasting Australia program is available here.

Pangkarra products are available online, through independent gourmet and grocery stores, including IGA and Foodland.

 

 

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