Legumes. Rafael Vargas / © Icex
Like many other plant products, pulses - or legumes - are available as preserves, often in glass jars. Pulses are much longer-lasting than most of the products that are usually bottled or canned, so preservation is mostly for reasons of convenience or ease of use. The most widely-grown pulses in Spain - chickpeas, lentils and beans - are preserved either on their own or in ready-made dishes. Prior to sterilization by heat treatment, the product is either just cooked and packed or used as an ingredient in one of the traditional recipes of Spanish cuisine.
Pulses are essential ingredients in many of Spain's most popular stews and soups - the famous Asturian fabada or bean stew, Madrid stew, lentil soup, beans with quail, etc. Canned pulses facilitate the preparation of these healthy dishes, and are much recommended for their nutritional qualities. They are very versatile products that can be prepared in many different ways. Even if time is short, the most traditional of Spanish dishes can be successfully prepared from preserved pulses.