Until a few years ago, the cicerchia was barely ever used. Recently this vegetable has regained its role as a typical peasant dish. Its taste is similar to the ones of the broad bean and the chickpea. It has found its ideal habitat in Alta Murgia and has shown itself to be valuable in the grain rotation, increasing its quality.
The cicerchia started being harvested in ancient Egypt, and was used in the production of different breads and soups. The seed - which is different for every kind of plant and resembles a small rock - grows in hard soil and adverse conditions. It resists droughts and low temperatures. This vegetable is harvested at the end of July but can be grown all year long.
Rich in calcium and phosphorus, the cicerchia shows a bitter, stodgy taste, which makes it necessary for it to be soaked in salt water for a minimum of twelve hours and then boiled accurately. It is a very beneficial bean, it contains protein and starch, vitamin B1, B2 and PP and dietary fiber. Because of this it is recommended in various practices of alternative medicine, including nutritional oligotherapy for memory loss and brain exhaustion in students and elderly people. The cicerchia is also great for soup, flour and vegetarian dessert recipes, but is also very present in traditional cuisine. It is particularly good in traditional Murgian peasant broths and soups.