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starchy foods


Like préservatif (condom), féculent is one of the funnier ‘false friends’ in French, and has nothing to do with ‘feculant’.

Instead, it’s a category of food unique to France (you’ll see supermarket aisles labelled ‘féculents’), although it’s rare that sources agree on exactly what is a féculent and what isn’t. Is a green pea a féculent or a légume? If it’s fresh, at least it’s a légume; if it’s dried, it turns into a féculent.

If it’s rich in amidon (starch) it can join the club. Some say that all grains, cereals, pasta and bread are féculents, while others add bananas and chestnuts to the list, along with tubercules including potatoes, sweet potatoes, manioc and yams.

But there are also féculents légumineuse: chick peas, any kind of dried bean, including soy, lupins, lentils, black-eyed and split peas, broad and mungo beans, and peanuts too (according to some!) Who knows?

Grains, seeds and cereals


Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Monaco