Zollino Little Pea

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

The Zollino dwarf peas are grown in the small town of the Lecce inland, one of the nine towns of the Grecìa Salentina, an area where Griko is still spoken, a variant of Greek. Local elderly farmers have always carefully selected, at each harvest, the best peas, and stored them for the following sowing, thereby preserving a local biodiversity with fine organoleptic quality.

This pea is yellow-brownish, with shades of green, and is only consumed dry. It is nearly spherical in shape, sometimes flattened at the ends. It is sowed no sooner than 8 December, and is harvested in late May-early June, when the plant is completely dry on the field. The Zollino dwarf pea is farmed dry in soils that can ensure an adequate water reserve. The plant is small and reaches a maximum 30 centimetres height, and is threshed by hand. Even the next seed selection is done by hand, on the farmyards.

It has been farmed since time immemorial, according to the stories of older farmers. It is cooked in an earthenware pot, with garlic, onions, celery, fresh tomatoes, or with a handmade paste of durum wheat flour called “tria”.

The events where it is possible to purchase this dwarf pea are the fair of Saint John (24 June), which is held in conjunction with the end of the threshing and the new pea production, and the feast of “lu focu” (28 December), which recalls ancient ancestral rituals associated to the winter solstice.
The quantity harvested varies each year, but roughly reaches about 60-70 quintals.

Back to the archive >




Production area:Grecìa Salentina Communes, Lecce Province

Other info



Nominated by:Antonio Calì