Labico Roncoletta Pea

Ark of taste
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The Labico roncoletta pea is a pea variety with a typical curved pod that is grown in Labico’s area. In the first half of the 20th century, the roncoletta pea production was very successful, to the extent that the area became an experimental spot to increase the productivity of this legume in the 1930’s (during the Fascist regime). The traditional Pea Fair, which would take place in early June, was also established in those years: a specifically decorated float parade was organized and all of Labico’s inhabitants partecipated. After the Italian economic boom, since rural culture was losing importance, also roncoletta pea growing was abandoned. This very growing process is still deemed as hard and demanding today: the sowing procedure takes place in small vegetable gardens, and the plant is propped up with wooden sticks. This technique has surely make the local vegetable gardens very peculiar, in terms of landscape. The fresh peas are picked in June, alternatively, the pods are left to dry for preservation purposes. This in an annual leguminous plant that is some 50 cm tall, standing straight or half straight; the stalks are filled with branches and have a tendency to climb up. Pods contain from 7 to 12 roundish seeds whose colour may range from beige to light green. The roncoletta peas has a vegetable smell and a sweet and sapid taste; is a quite solid and compact legume, and it generally remains so, even when cooked. It is mainly used to make soups and creams in the kitchen. There is a very low quantity of roncoletta peas being grown these days, and, without any support, it may disappear. As a matter of fact, a project to recover this produce is being launched and, as a result, this pea is now grown again in small parcels.

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Production area:Labico (Roma province)

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Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Nominated by:Francesca Litta