Despite their dimensions (3.25 to 5.75 mm in diameter), Le Puy green lentils (Lentille Vertes du Puy) have the extraordinary qualities needed to obtain the Protected Designation of Origin symbol. Not surprisingly, they received “designation of origin” status by judgment on 17 January 1935.
They are exclusively cultivated in some of the communes in the Haute-Loire, in France, but their origin comes from Roman times, as a discovery in 1828 of a terra cotta Gallo-Roman vase containing lentils proves. Le Puy green lentils have been present in the Haute-Loire region for the last two centuries. There are many writings which describe the lentils as an essential crop of the Le Puy region and which attest to their fame.
With their dark greenish-blue mottling and a pale green background, Le Puy green lentils are harvested before they are fully ripe. They are only slightly meaty, remain firm when cooked and are small in size.
They belong to the Anicia line obtained from the Lens Esculenta Puyensis variety. The climate (summer droughts and big differences in temperature between day and night) is a prime factor in cultivating these highly characteristic green lentils. The area’s volcanic soil accentuates their qualities.