Zolfino Bean

Italy

Tuscany

Legumes

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Zolfino Bean

It was Emperor Charles V who supposedly introduced beans to Tuscany, following the European discovery of the New World, gifting them to Pope Clement VII (Giulio de’ Medici). As well as the more common Cannellini and Toscanelli, other rarer varieties are still grown here, like Coco Nano and the excellent Zolfino.
Also known as the Fagiolo del Cento, the “bean of the hundred” (because they were traditionally sown on the 100th day of the year), or Burrino, the Zolfino bean is small, spherical and yellow, with a pale eye. They have long been cultivated between the Arno River and the Pratomagno mountains, in the province of Arezzo, at altitudes of 250 or 300 meters above sea level, or even as high as 600 meters. They love poor soil and cannot survive in lower-lying areas, because their very shallow root system cannot tolerate the slightest amount of waterlogging. The beans are usually sown in April, often on terraced land under olive trees, so that any water drains away between the stones of the drystone walls.
Despite their thin skin, Zolfino beans can stand long cooking times (three or four hours or more). When cooked, they are dense and creamy, melting in the mouth like butter. They are usually served boiled and dressed with a drizzle of intensely flavored, fruity extra-virgin olive oil over grilled slices of Tuscan bread, or as an accompaniment to Fiorentina steaks.
Traditionally—and still today in some places—they are cooked overnight in a flask or earthenware pot placed in a wood-burning oven after the bread has been baked. The leftovers make the perfect addition to ribollita.

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Season

Zolfino beans are harvested between the end of July and early August and are available dried year round

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Until a few years ago, the Zolfino bean survived only in a few kitchen gardens and had completely disappeared from the market due to problems with yield (its productivity is much lower than other, more common varieties) and cultivation (the bean plants are extremely delicate, and suffer particularly from temperature extremes, like summer heatwaves and spring frosts). Thanks in part to the work of Slow Food, its quality has now been rediscovered and cultivation has been revived in the original Pratomagno area and beyond. However, the legume’s renewed fame has also brought negative consequences, with inferior varieties sold as Zolfino, compromising consumer trust in the product.
Currently the association of Setteponti Zolfino bean producers unites 11 producers who grow the beans in the original Pratomagno fields, following a strict production protocol based on organic agriculture principles and protecting the authentic Zolfino.

Production area
Western slopes of the Pratomagno mountains: Castiglion Fibocchi, Latrina, Loro Ciuffenna, Terranuova Bracciolini, Castelfranco di Sopra and Piandiscò municipalities, Arezzo province and Reggello municipality, Florence province, Tuscany region
Silvano Bartolini
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Via Turati, 38
Tel. 338 7339285
silvano.bartolini.61@gmail.com

Cooperativa Sociale Betadue
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Viale Duccio di Buoninsegna, 8
Tel. 328 2513461 rif. Gabriele Mecheri
manutenzione.verde@betadue.org

Fratelli Bonaccini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Località La Penna
Tel. 055 9172180 – 333 4940568
ilpiano@bonaccini.com

Le Fontacce di Simone Botti
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Via Setteponti Ponente, 34
Tel. 339 4635942
simone.botti@lefontacce.com

Giuseppe Cardesi
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Penna, 19
Tel. 348 8059486

Domenico Ferrini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Campogalli
Tel. 347 1414664

Vasco Fiacchini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Campogalli
Via Ascione 6170 a
Tel. 349 3701814

Ivano Malvisi
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Via Carpognane, 2016 b
Tel. 055 9705013 – 333 8648601
r.malvisi.1979@gmail.com

Patrizia Mealli
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Penna
Tel. 055 9705035 – 331 6219612

Paterna
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Via Setteponti Levante, 3300 v
Tel. 055 977052 (rif. Tamara Scarpellini)
paterna@paterna.it

Poggio La Tana di Tommaso Romualdi
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Località San Giustino Valdarno
Tel. 338 1529652
info@poggiolatana.it
Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Simona Innocenti
Tel. 333 8875242
zolfinosetteponti@gmail.com

Presidium producers’ coordinator
Simone Botti
Tel. 339 4635942
simone.botti@lefontacce.com
Until a few years ago, the Zolfino bean survived only in a few kitchen gardens and had completely disappeared from the market due to problems with yield (its productivity is much lower than other, more common varieties) and cultivation (the bean plants are extremely delicate, and suffer particularly from temperature extremes, like summer heatwaves and spring frosts). Thanks in part to the work of Slow Food, its quality has now been rediscovered and cultivation has been revived in the original Pratomagno area and beyond. However, the legume’s renewed fame has also brought negative consequences, with inferior varieties sold as Zolfino, compromising consumer trust in the product.
Currently the association of Setteponti Zolfino bean producers unites 11 producers who grow the beans in the original Pratomagno fields, following a strict production protocol based on organic agriculture principles and protecting the authentic Zolfino.

Production area
Western slopes of the Pratomagno mountains: Castiglion Fibocchi, Latrina, Loro Ciuffenna, Terranuova Bracciolini, Castelfranco di Sopra and Piandiscò municipalities, Arezzo province and Reggello municipality, Florence province, Tuscany region
Silvano Bartolini
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Via Turati, 38
Tel. 338 7339285
silvano.bartolini.61@gmail.com

Cooperativa Sociale Betadue
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Viale Duccio di Buoninsegna, 8
Tel. 328 2513461 rif. Gabriele Mecheri
manutenzione.verde@betadue.org

Fratelli Bonaccini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Località La Penna
Tel. 055 9172180 – 333 4940568
ilpiano@bonaccini.com

Le Fontacce di Simone Botti
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Via Setteponti Ponente, 34
Tel. 339 4635942
simone.botti@lefontacce.com

Giuseppe Cardesi
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Penna, 19
Tel. 348 8059486

Domenico Ferrini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Campogalli
Tel. 347 1414664

Vasco Fiacchini
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Campogalli
Via Ascione 6170 a
Tel. 349 3701814

Ivano Malvisi
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Via Carpognane, 2016 b
Tel. 055 9705013 – 333 8648601
r.malvisi.1979@gmail.com

Patrizia Mealli
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Frazione Penna
Tel. 055 9705035 – 331 6219612

Paterna
Terranuova Bracciolini (Ar)
Via Setteponti Levante, 3300 v
Tel. 055 977052 (rif. Tamara Scarpellini)
paterna@paterna.it

Poggio La Tana di Tommaso Romualdi
Loro Ciuffenna (Ar)
Località San Giustino Valdarno
Tel. 338 1529652
info@poggiolatana.it
Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Simona Innocenti
Tel. 333 8875242
zolfinosetteponti@gmail.com

Presidium producers’ coordinator
Simone Botti
Tel. 339 4635942
simone.botti@lefontacce.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionTuscany

Other info

CategoriesLegumes