Features: Famous and very good, these borlotti beans - locally called lumè - have a particular "rounded" taste, to the extent that they can be just boiled and flavored with oil.
The pod is about 15-18cm long, while the seed, with its classical kidney-shape, is white and ash-colored with dark red streaks, and is 1.5cm long. Pignone rural tradition includes two ecotypes with two different features: "climbing" (with indeterminate growth) and "dwarf" (with fixed growth), that can be recognized from the different color of the seed: darker for the climbing plant and red for the dwarf plant.
Production Area: Pignone
Curiosities: The product is known and appreciated by a rather limited market, since it is cultivated by a few families from Pignone with a long horticultural tradition, that have handed down the seeds over the years. Mentioned already at the end of the 19th century in documents regarding diatribes for the use of irrigation water, borlotti beans, like other kinds of beans, are deeply linked to the history and social and economic conditions of the town. The boom of beans took place in the 50s when, every night from the square of Pignone, three trucks loaded with at least 3 tons of beans used to leave headed to the markets of Milan, Modena, and Genova.
Cultivation: Beans are sown in the field from May to June. According to the local tradition, beans cultivated to be dried for the winter are sown after St. John, June 21st, in order to protect them from aphids. They can be picked up when they are still green or they can be left partially drying on the plant, picking them up at the end of August and completing the drying process on the terrace.
Recipe: Their delicate and characteristic taste gives the opportunity to eat borlotti beans boiled and flavored with oil and onion.
Ingredients: 800g beans, 2 sage leaves, half glass extra-virgin olive oil, salt, black pepper, 1 onion, vinegar. Wash the beans and put them in a pan with a glass of water and oil, sage, salt, and pepper. Cook them for about 40 minutes with the lid, stirring. Drain them and add the onion. Flavor with oil, vinegar, and salt.