Ustica Fava Bean

Italy

Sicily

Legumes

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Medium-size, tender fava beans were once commonly grown across Ustica. The legume was a staple in the local cuisine and an important feed resource for livestock farming, now almost completely gone from the island. Thanks to the island’s oldest growers, the seeds have been saved and still exist today.
The beans are cultivated by hand. They are planted in November or December after a couple of plowings. Furrows are dug by a donkey-pulled plow, and then planted with two seeds every 30 to 40 centimeters. Fertilizer and herbicides are not used. In May, when the plants start to dry out, the harvest begins: The plants are pulled up or cut and bundled into characteristic sheaves, which are left to dry further. After a few days, the island’s wind separates the beans from the chaff. This traditional technique is the best for this broad bean variety; due to its size, other methods would risk breaking the beans.
A classic food of the poor, the fava beans are often eaten fresh between March and May. They are either raw or cooked, for example, in a frittedda with wild fennel. The most typical rustic dish is macco di fave, prepared with dried beans and flavored with wild fennel shoots. Macco can be eaten on its own or with pasta.

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Season

Fresh fava beans are found from March to May, and dried beans are available year-round

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Three producers have enthusiastically welcomed the idea of reviving and promoting this traditional ecotype, inherited from the elderly farmers who have carefully preserved the seed. The Ustica Fava Bean is at risk of extinction due to the spread of parasitical plants (Orobanche) that harm production, as well as its increasingly rare use in the kitchen. The producers have decided to follow a strict production protocol aimed at protecting the sustainability of the crop with careful soil management, without the use of chemical fertilizers or herbicides.

Production area
Ustica island, Palermo province

Presidium supported by
LIBERTYlines – High-speed vessel company
Rosaria Lombino
Ustica (Pa)
Contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 331 4089930
saralombino@hotmail.it

Giuseppe Mancuso
Ustica (Pa)
Contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 091 8449385 – 338 3887072
agriturismopagliuzzo@libero.it
www.agriturismopagliuzzo.it

U’ Scarpuni
di Giovanni Palmisano
contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 333 6788695
nanni68tale@gmail.it
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Giuseppe Mancuso
tel. +39 091 8449385 - 338 3887072
agriturismopagliuzzo@libero.it

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Francesco Sottile
tel. +39 328 9866195
franci.sottile@gmail.com
Three producers have enthusiastically welcomed the idea of reviving and promoting this traditional ecotype, inherited from the elderly farmers who have carefully preserved the seed. The Ustica Fava Bean is at risk of extinction due to the spread of parasitical plants (Orobanche) that harm production, as well as its increasingly rare use in the kitchen. The producers have decided to follow a strict production protocol aimed at protecting the sustainability of the crop with careful soil management, without the use of chemical fertilizers or herbicides.

Production area
Ustica island, Palermo province

Presidium supported by
LIBERTYlines – High-speed vessel company
Rosaria Lombino
Ustica (Pa)
Contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 331 4089930
saralombino@hotmail.it

Giuseppe Mancuso
Ustica (Pa)
Contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 091 8449385 – 338 3887072
agriturismopagliuzzo@libero.it
www.agriturismopagliuzzo.it

U’ Scarpuni
di Giovanni Palmisano
contrada Tramontana
tel. +39 333 6788695
nanni68tale@gmail.it
Slow Food Presidium Producers’ Coordinator
Giuseppe Mancuso
tel. +39 091 8449385 - 338 3887072
agriturismopagliuzzo@libero.it

Slow Food Presidium Coordinator
Francesco Sottile
tel. +39 328 9866195
franci.sottile@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionSicily

Other info

CategoriesLegumes