Lupin Mania

When I was little, I had a era of obsession with a book called Miss Rumphius, about a woman who lived alone by the sea in Maine and scattered lupin (or lupines depending on one’s continent) seeds around wherever she went, in an effort to make the world more beautiful. The story is curious in retrospect, both in terms of plant-human interaction, but also as a story in which the heroine remains independent and solitary. Apparently it is a famous children’s book, so I must not be the only one who was taken with that strange tale. It has given me a special feeling for lupines.

Here in Finland, lupins seem to be quite large, mostly blue and white. I heard recently that the are an invasive species here, a weed, a nuisance. It makes me think of the Lupine Lady, Miss Rumphius, with a bit of chagrin; perhaps her lupin sowing was not welcome after all.

However, like many weeds, it turns out that lupins are edible. Their furry pea like pods bely their relation to legumes. According to Wikipedia, common varieties may need soaking in salt water. But what really inspired this post is my glee at discovering locally made Finnish lupin tempeh! An exciting alternative to soy.20130625-170422.jpg