Orco Feglino Red chickpeas

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Orco Feglino Red chickpeas are named for their red color and town of origin. They were historically grown in the town of Orco Feglino and neighboring municipalities in the region of Liguria. It is seeded from February to March and best harvested from the field when dry (in July) and immediately threshed. The plant was probably brought to the area by sailors who docked at nearby ports along Italy’s northwestern coast, and developed in Orco Feglino in the non-irrigated land between hills, which favored their cultivation. The red chickpeas are a product that have long been cultivated in the area, and memories and oral histories about this product are passed down in families. Historical stories of the cultivation of chickpeas in this area of inland Liguria are supported by an outcropping of rocks called Ciappa dei Ceci, because it is likely that this horizontal arrangement of rocks was used in the threshing of the chickpeas. The chickpeas are used locally to prepare the typical Ligurian zemin, a soup of chickpeas that, in this case, takes on a reddish color. Today, there are only about six families that still cultivate this variety, mainly for home consumption. The entire known cultivation today is over an area of just 250 to 350 square meters.

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