Farm to Shelves, Part 1: The Pea-ssentials

Hello again readers, and my apologies for the tardiness of this post. Paul was at the Sweets & Snacks expo in Chicago all week and I’ve been trying to keep everything together back here at home base.

So anyway, I figure since this is the first actual report on how things work, what a better place to start than from the beginning. Well as my mother always said when inquired about my uncanny resemblance to the delivery man, “Everything comes from something. Here’s five dollars, don’t bring it up again.” That lesson, as devastating as it is, is the theme of this week’s post. Everything, including our incredibly delicious chips, comes from something and I plan to tell you just what that something is. So strap on your reading glasses and let’s get to it.

But, before I begin, I just wanted to clear up something I learned when I was listening and researching how the first part of the journey happens: chickpeas and lentils are not the same thing. I know. I’ll give you a second to let that soak in. So the next logical question is what’s the difference between the two? Well thanks to the Us Dry Pea and Lentil Council (yes that is a real thing) I learned that the biggest difference, besides the appearance itself, is lentils are high in iron while chickpeas are high in other minerals such as phosphorus and calcium. Also, according to recent government studies, chickpeas can aide in lowering the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream. I also learned a lot from the USADPLC’s kid’s page, where they featured comics so boring that they made Mary Worth seem like Garfield Minus Garfield. It was as if the writer’s bet one another how many “pea” puns they could cram in before they both killed each other. So I took the liberty to recreate an issue for your entertainment, putting myself in place of “Samuel Sweet”:


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Photobucket


I enjoyed face-palming to how lame these comics were so much that I’ve decided to draft “Dan D. Pea” to walk us through the actual process of getting the main ingredients of our chips. First off, both our chickpea and lentil bushes are grown on large farms overseas until their pods are a nice tan/green color, meaning they’re ripe for the picking.

Once harvested by skilled combine operators, the chickpeas are shipped to a mill where they are ground into flour to be used in our chips. The chickpeas and lentils are first put into a large silo to dry out and age to the right specification. Once approved, they next meet their maker when our industrial grinder crushes them into flour.


Next, the flour goes through 15 different industrial sieves to pull out anything that we don’t want in the final recipe.


Finally the flour is put through a large drum that adds moisture to it slowly. The reason this moisture is added is because it makes it easier to form the shape of the chip when it is eventually cooked.

So that is the way our main ingredient is taken from the farm and prepared to be transformed into chips. Come back next week as I will be going into how the now readied flour actually gets made into the chips themselves!

As always, stay hungry,

Will the Intern

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