Zampognaro bean

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

The zampognaro bean, now at serious risk of extinction as the six remaining small producers only produce about 200 kilograms a year, is mainly grown in Piano Liguori or Campagnano in the eastern part of the Island of Ischia. It is dark red in color with small white streaks. The origin of the name (meaning ‘piper’) is uncertain, it may be because the plant, twisting round its supporting canes as it grows, resembles the laces of bagpipers’ shoes: they used to pass from town to town in the days before Christmas. Others suggest that the name is because they are eaten dry at Christmas, or that they resemble the shape of a bagpipe when they swell with cooking. The beans are sown in mid-March with a waning moon, and harvested in late summer. They are eaten as they are with a little extravirgin oil. Full-flavored and rich in iron, they remain firm even after three hours of cooking. Giovanni Gussone, a well-known botanist of the Bourbon court in Naples, included them in his 1854 collection of Ischia’s flora.

Back to the archive >




Other info