Pigeon Pea

Ark of taste
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Kumada Yvyra`i, Gandul,Ggandú, Frijol de Palo. Quinchoncho   Kumada yvyra`i is the name in Guaraní for the pigeon pea, or Cajanus cajan.

The plant, brought to northern Argentina by the Spanish, grows 2 – 3 m tall and produces bunches of yellow flowers twice per year. The fruit develops into hairy bods containing 4 – 6 somewhat flattened beans that are 6mm in diameter and shades of brown, black, read or cream colored, sometimes with dark spots.   These beans are used for human consumption, prepared in soups or porridges, or dried and ground into flour. The unripe bean pods are used in salads or making preserves. The plant can also be used as livestock feed. Kumada yvyra`i has a 20% protein content and a good quantity of lysine and methionine.   This bean is not cultivated or commercialized in Argentina, but harvested from forests where it grows spontaneously. Consumption is low and persists mainly in indigenous and rural communities. Among the younger generation, this species is barely known as a product for consumption, despite its historical use as a food source in the area.

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Indigenous community:Wichí, Toba