This is a preview of the content in our Greek Food Decoder app. Get the app to:
  • Read offline
  • Remove ads
  • Access all content
  • Build a list of your own favourites
  • Search the contents with full-text search functionality
  • ... and more!
iOS App Store Google Play



grass peas

Lathyrus sativus or the Indian pea or grass pea, which grows in areas subject to drought. It has been cultivated in Greece since Neolithic times and is still grown in a few places—notably on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. It is rich in protein (Greeks generally boil it and prepare it like yellow peas or fáva), but over-consumption can cause a neurodegenerative disease called lathyrism—which is why consumption was long banned in Spain.

Historically it has been planted as a back-up crop, in case all else fails. Lathoúrí helped many rural Greeks survive the famine during World War Two.

Vegetables, greens and pulses

Text © Dana Facaros

Image by Sierra de’ conti