Lupini beans

lupini beans

Some time ago, Apollonia’s family was having a conversation about the actress Ida Lupino, and the (very demonstrable) fact that she made some pretty awful movies. Then Apollonia’s brother-in-law Rocky inserted: “What about lupini beans? Do you think Ida Lupino’s name has anything to do with lupini beans?”



And a fresh argument broke out.



See the picture above if you’re unfamiliar with lupini beans. They’re an Italian specialty, which you can probably find in your local supermarket (especially if there’s a big Italian community in your neighborhood). They’re not really beans, but the huge seeds of the yellow Mediterranean lupine. They contain a toxin, by the way. They have to be soaked and blanched and rinsed and salted and all kinds of things before they’re fit to eat. Then you still have to take off the husk before you eat them.



But they’re really pretty good, once you taste them. Also, they’re full of nutrients.



When Apollonia’s sister Augusta heard that I was ill, she rushed into action and sent me a jar of lupini beans, which she’d seasoned herself with olive oil and herbs. This was the accompanying note:



“My friend Ida always suggests a few lupini a day. They are loaded with fiber & protein – but don’t overdo it – too many can cause gastric lupinoma and gastric bezoar composed of multiple lupini beans. Surgical removal required. Enjoy!”



Also, she sent a can of air freshener, in case the outcome of the lupini beans was unfortunate (as it might be) for Partner and/or me.



I ate half a dozen of them, and I thought they were pretty good, and no air freshener was required. Partner is wary of them and hasn’t tried them yet.



Oh hell they’re just Mediteranean lupine seeds! What could they possibly do to you?



(I told Augusta, when I wrote her a thank-you note, that I hoped I did develop a gastric bezoar. You can use them as an antidote to poisons, and they also strengthen your aura.)



(You just wait. I will have a glorious aura.)


About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

6 Responses to Lupini beans

  1. I’m with Partner. They sound kind of scary! But intriguing.

    • They’re worth a try, but they’re not really very compelling. Apollonia’s sister took some store-bought ones and dressed them up with olive oil and herbs; I think they would have been pretty dull otherwise.

  2. “Pretty good” is not enough of a recommendation. I’m with Bill on this one.

  3. Clare says:

    Ida Lupino DID make awful movies but OTOH, she was among the very first FEMALE directors in Hollywood – and they’re still a pretty rare breed.

    • That’s true. And she turned in a few really good performances. There’s a movie called “They Drive by Night,” with Humphrey Bogart – she crushes a man (I think her own husband) in an automatic garage door, and then has a nervous breakdown.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: