Prince George's First Day of School Lunch Just Started the Next Big Food Trend
Prince George is making lentils cool again.
This story originally appeared on FoodandWine.com on September 19, 2017.
Sales of Puy lentils skyrocketed in the UK after it was reported Prince George ate them for his first day of school lunch, according to French news outlet The Local. Proving that British monarchs still have quite a bit of influence over what their people eat, consumers have flocked to stores to pick up the same legumes as the 4-year-old royal.
It probably helps that Puy lentils are loved by chefs and home cooks alike. Though Prince George may or may not be fully familiar with the term yet, "Le Puy green lentils" is legally protected the same way "Champagne" is, meaning it must grow in the Le Puy area of the Auvergne region of France to qualify.
While it's unclear if Prince George actually likes the Le Puy lentils that the elite Thomas' Battersea Preparatory School serves with smoked mackerel, UK residents seem to. According to Sabarot, a Le Puy green lentils distributor since 1819, the report has triggered high demand from British clients, especially from restaurants.
"It's the 'star effect,'" said Sabarot head Antoine Wassner to French Newspaper L'Express, "as soon as a VIP is linked to a product." And while he worries the newfound UK love for Le Puy lentils could be temporary, he adds that "with the vogue for being vegan, we're hopeful."
Puy lentils are rich in vegetable proteins and fibers, and, with their refined peppery flavor, are sometimes known to French cooks as, ironically enough, "poors' caviar." Prince George's school reportedly sees fit to use them as a bed for the fish, on a menu that emphasizes healthy food with "no additives or hydrogenated fats," and limited salt and sugar.
That menu also includes lamb ragout with garlic and herbs, and pork stroganoff with red peppers, so if you're looking for the UK's next big food trend, those dishes may be the place to start.