The lentil is a member of the legume family. It is known for its lens-shaped seeds that grow two seeds to a pod. Lentils have been a food source since aceramic Neolithic times, being one of the earliest domesticated crops in the Near East. Archaeological evidence reveals they were eaten 9,500 to 13,000 years ago. They come in color varieties of green, reddish orange, yellow, brown, and black.
French green lentils tend to hold their shape and texture better when cooked, which can make them a better choice for salads. Other variations of the legume have a tendency to become mushy if cooked too long, but this is rarely the case with French green lentils.