Sunday, August 12, 2012

Celebrate lentils in eastern Washington

Did you know that the rich earth of eastern Washington produces about one third of all lentils grown in the U.S.? This little, but mighty, legume packs a nutritional punch and it’s great for cooking on the road. Lentil chili – who knew? Lentil pancakes – hearty and tasty!

One of our favorite festivals in the Northwest has been officially celebrating the venerable lentil and all who bring it to market since 1989. Next Friday and Saturday, August 17-18, downtown Pullman pulls out all the stops once again with the 23rd National Lentil Festival. It all starts with the lively street fair on Friday evening from 5–11 p.m.

Sample the delicious lentil chili (and grab the recipe), enjoy a glass of regional microbrew, tap your toes to some terrific live music, and savor the summertime—Palouse style.

Saturday’s festivities kick off with the Tas-T-Lentil 5K run, a Lions Club Lentil Breakfast, and the Tour de Lentil Bike ride. Bring your folding chair to the main street for the Grand Parade and the coronation of the Lentil King and Queen (at 2:30). For lunch, head for Lentil Lane and the Lentil Cook-off. It’s amazing what you can concoct with the little green disk that’s named after the Latin “lens” – our double convex optic lens which allows is to see. 

For a unique camping experience, try Palouse Falls State Park, about 14 miles west of Pullman. There are both utility and standard sites available. 

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