Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Lupins, lupini in Italian, come from several different species of Lupinus (albus, angustifolius, luteus). They’re unusual because they contain no starch—they’re 30–40% protein, 5–10% oil, and up to 50% soluble but indigestible carbohydrates (soluble fiber). Though there are some “sweet” types that require no special processing, many varieties contain bitter and toxic alkaloids and so are soaked in water for up to several days to leach these substances out. They’re then boiled until soft, and served in oil, or toasted and salted. A New World species, L. mutabilis, grown in the Andes, has a protein content approaching 50% of the dry seed weight.