The Produce Quiz – What Am I?

I was the number one cash crop in the United States. Originating in East Asia (Manchuria), I arrived on the U.S. shores with the Mathew Perry expedition. I have more protein and calories than any other legume. I grow on a small bush two to six feet high. I am raised in a velvety pod that can be gray, yellow, black, white or brown. I have an amazing amount of uses. In my infant stage I am used in salads as a sprout. I am fermented, used as coffee substitute, made into cheese, jam, flour, grits, or used for imitation beef, ham, or chicken. Industrially my oil is used for soap, paint or vanishes. I am also very popular cooking oil. When brewed I make a wonderful sauce, but often my sauce is packaged without any of me in it. It's truly a shame that water, salt, vegetable protein, corn syrup, and caramel color, cheaply replace my rich tangy flavor. I must be cooked to neutralize the anti-nutrients I contain (phytic acid, and trypsin). If defatted or dried, I will store moderately well. If fresh, I must be refrigerated or I will turn rancid in short order. When they dry us we are used in stews and casseroles but our pleasant hazelnut like flavor is best when fresh.

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Produce Quiz courtesy of
Richard Liebowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce

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