Mission ImPULSEible, the student food product development competition, was held at Ernest’s on March 23 and this was its seventh year.
Three culinary student groups from the U of A put their best foot forward to prove that they had the best “pulse.” A pulse is a food which includes chickpeas, lentil seeds, beans and peas. They are foods that will satisfy your hunger, while holding many health benefits. The name “Pulse” is derived from the Latin word “puls” meaning thick soup or potage.
“It’s an opportunity for post-secondary students to learn about pulses and to be able to take an ordinary pulse and elevate it to a new level,” said Mission Impulseible Co-ordinator Debra Mclennan, registered dietician and with Alberta Pulse Growers.
“It’s an opportunity to learn how to do different types of food products with pulse products. It’s not just about whole beans, whole peas or whole lentils, it could be chick pea flour, it could be black bean flour and any of those products that they can use.”
It was an enlightening event but not one to be taken lightly. These students put many hours of hard work into creating these pulses and were truly proud to show it all off. After tasting all three, the judges and guests all sat down for the team’s presentations, which had nutritional information, market competition facts and multi-media visuals. The winner of this competition will move forward to the national competition, which is in Calgary at the Canadian Special Crops Association Convention.
The three teams included one which made a chickpea nugget, the only dinner themed item and quite delicious. The second team created pulscotti spread, which is a gluten free, nut free and dairy free cookie butter made from chickpea flour. This team’s edge was that there are not very many items like this on the market. It was fascinating to find that there are only three main savoury spreads (Cheez Whiz, peanut butter and mayo). The last team created a dessert called the peamon tart, which is made from canned red kidney beans, chickpeas, romano beans and great white northern beans. There were so many types of beans included in the recipe, which was shocking, as it looked exactly like a lemon tart and tasted magnificent.
The fact that young people are so excited to create such innovative food products is inspiring. The team of U of A culinary students who placed first and will be moving on to the national competition in Calgary is made up of Andrea Roman, Kaixing Tang and Minghua Yu. Their peamon lemon tart is innovative, delicious and sustainable! I can’t wait for next year’s competition.
By Taylor Braat