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Lentil

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Lentil
Missing image
Lens_culirnaris.jpg



Lentils
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Plantae
Division:Magnoliophyta
Class:Magnoliopsida
Order:Fabales
Family:Fabaceae
Subfamily:Faboideae
Tribe:Vicieae
Genus:Lens
Species:culinaris

Template:Taxobox section binomial botany

The lentil is a bushy annual plant grown for its lens-shaped seeds. The seeds have a short cooking time and a distinctive earthy flavor. A variety of lentils exist with colors that range from yellow to red-orange to green, brown or even black. There are both large and small-seeded varieties. Lentils are generally sold as dry seeds.

Lentils are used to prepare an inexpensive and nutritious soup all over Europe and North America. They are frequently combined with rice, which has a similar cooking time, since lentils and rice form a more complete protein. Lentils are used throughout the Mediterranean regions and the Middle East, and are popular in India, where they are cooked to a pur´┐Że. In India, lentils are mostly found in split (Dal) form. Stripped of their outer skin, split lentils are usually bright orange, green or brown in color. The thick, spicy stew prepared from lentil and other Dals is also known as Dal.

Lentils have been part of the human diet since the aceramic Neolithic.

The optical lens is so named after the lentil (German: Linse), whose shape it resembles.

Canada is the largest export producer of lentils in the world and Saskatchewan is the most important producing region in Canada. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that world production of lentils totalled 3.2 million metric tons (MT) in 2003. Canada produced 520,000 MT and, according to the market analysis company STAT Communications, will likely export 400,000 MT during the 2003-04 marketing year, which runs from August to July. The FAO estimates world trade in lentils totalled 1.2 million MT in 2002, with Canada exporting 382,000 MT during the calendar year.

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