What it is
The broad bean (Vicia faba, L.) is one of the most ancient legumes found in Europe, used for millennia by the people of the Mediterranean. Found in Neolithic deposits in Spain, it has also been found also in Egypt, in the tombs of the 12th Dynasty (2400-2200 B.C.) among the foodstuffs offered for the journey in the next world. Moreover, this legume is also quoted in the Bible (Ezechiel, 4 9-13) and in classical texts (Herodotus and Pliny). Pythagoras considered it impure, recovering the myth according to which Ceres gave to a town of Arcadia seeds of various leguminous plants, except broad bean. In Rome, its seeds were eaten during the parties following the funerals or during the celebrations exorcizing the return of evil spirits. From here, the tradition linking broad beans to All Souls' Day.
Cultivation Methods and Uses
A legume with excellent nutritional properties, it is characterized by a high content in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, mineral salts, and fibers.
Its cultivation finds ideal conditions in the tufaceous soils of Alfina and the calcareous soils of Orvietani hills and Paglia valley. The broad bean of the Orvieto area has very ancient traditions. It is eaten fresh or dry, and plays a very important role in the local cuisine: bruschetta with mashed broad beans and wild fennel, broad bean soup, etc. Often, broad beans were preserved in oil together with peas and/or asparagus and represented an ideal product during the cold periods. Today it is possible to find products cultivated on the spot thanks to the passion of some local farmers who have reintroduced the broad bean with organic farming methods.
|Antonio Picconi||Parrano (TR)|
|La Cornucopia di Orvieto||Orvieto (TR)|