Tarreste bean is a small, kidney-shaped bean with thin skin. It ranges between a great variety of colors, from beige (which is the predominant color) to white, yellow, chestnut, black and red. The beans can be smooth or striped. The plant is semi-climbing, with matures relatively early crop and has small tough pods. After cooking, the bean remains intact and is creamy and velvety inside and has a strong flavor. It can be used in soups or in dishes served with pasta or rice. A selection of traditional recipes using the Tarreste bean can be found in attachment. This bean is rich in fiber and unsaturated fatty acids, which can help to reduce the plasmatic level of cholesterol and triglycerides. As recent studies on Tarreste bean report,“…The analysis of the results shows that the bean helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides levels… this is also due to the level of fiber and other properties”, “Tarreste bean is different from other varieties because it has a lower cholesterol level and a high level of acetate and butyrate” and “Tarreste bean helps to increase butyrate levels, which could help to combat the oncogenesis. This interesting topic needs to be deeply analyzed in the future”. Tarreste bean is cultivated on terraced slopes, where work continues to be done manually as the particular landscape doesn’t allow mechanized methods. The first stage of production is preparation of the soil, which can be done manually; manure is mixed into the soil, which is then leveled and made ready for sowing seeds. Seeds are sown from April to the end of May, either by hand or with a sowing machine. Usually the bean is cultivated alongside corn, but it may be raised as a monocrop. Fertilizers added to the crop are organic and manure-based, and weeding is done by hand to avoid the use of herbicides. Harvest is carried out from August to September. After being harvested, the beans are dried, shelled and quality controlled. After being cleaned, the beans are put into storage for one year. In order to conserve the beans, they are traditionally stored in wooded boxes along with bay and eucalyptus leaves. To further increase their life, the beans are refrigerated. Tarrestre bean is produced in the area of Arcos de Valdez, mainly in the mountain areas of Sierra of Penada and of Soajo (hamlet of Sistelo, Cabreiro, Gavieira, Soajo, Gondoriz, Cabana Maior, Ermelo, Carralcova, Sá, Vilela, S. Cosme e S. Damião, Miranda, Rio Frio, Eiras, Sabadim, Mei, Padroso, Portela, Extremo, Alvora, Loureda, Rio Cabrão, Aboim das Choças e Rio de Moinhos).
The traditional products, local breeds, and know-how collected by the Ark of Taste belong to the communities that have preserved them over time. They have been shared and described here thanks to the efforts of the network that Slow Food has developed around the world, with the objective of preserving them and raising awareness. The text from these descriptions may be used, without modifications and citing the source, for non-commercial purposes in line with the Slow Food philosophy.