Vallepietra Giant Bean

Slow Food Presidium

Italy

Lazio

Legumes

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Vallepietra Giant Bean

The small village of Vallepietra lies in the heart of the Monti Simbruini park, at around 800 meters above sea level. This farming center was founded in the 6th century by peasants fleeing from the countryside around Rome during the invasion of the Goths. The Vallepietra bean, also known as “ciavattone,” has been grown here since the time of Spanish rule, in the 16th century.
The village is set inside a valley with no outlet, completely surrounded by hills, and has a unique microclimate, thanks to the presence of many springs of very pure water (in some cases with a low mineral content). The springs flow into a small river that runs down and feeds the Simbrivio aqueduct, directly connected to Rome. The abundant water and the altitude have allowed this specific type of bean to acclimatize itself, a climbing variety traditional grown together with the local Agostinella corn, whose name comes from its harvest in late summer. The corn would be ground in the village’s small water mill and turned into polenta flour.
The bean has a large, pearly-white seed, and thanks to the chalky soil, the skin is very thin. The typical mark where the seed was attached to the pod differentiates it from the Spagna variety, with which it can be confused.
The cultivated fields are on terraces which start from the lowest part of the valley and reach up to the rockiest slopes. The spring water has been channeled to reach the fields thanks to the work of generations of farmers. Cultivation begins in April, and no weedkillers or chemical fertilizers are used, as they could pollute the springs. The beans are harvested in different phases, starting in September. The seeds for the following sowing are selected from the flowers that develop first and lowest down, while the rest are sold.
The beans are stored in jute sacks along with a few bay leaves, and kept in dry, cool cellars. They are eaten plain with extra-virgin olive oil and onions, topped with a sauce of sausages or pork rinds, or in soups and salads.

Season

The harvest takes place in October, the dried product is available all year round.

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These days, many of the Vallepietra terraces have been abandoned and overgrown with grass, but when the bean was at the base of the local economy (exchanged for oil and wine from nearby Piglio) it was cultivated throughout the valley. In the last decades both bean cultivation and the village of Vallepietra have been gradually abandoned, and the variety has survived only thanks to a few local families.
Now, a small consortium of farmers is starting to revive all of the traditional legumes from the Simbrivio Valley. Thanks to the Presidium they are also promoting the Vallepietra bean, in an attempt to bring new life back to the valley.

Production area
Vallepietra municipality, Rome province

Presidium supported by
Lazio Regional Authority, Arsial, Vallepietra Municipality, Monti Simbruini Regional Park, Rome Provincial Authority

Consorzio dei Produttori della Valle del Simbrivio
Presidente Alessio Antonio Lo Cicero
Vallepietra (Rm)
Via Tre novembre n. 7
Tel. +39 340 7424054
mieledautore@libero.it

Producers: Alessio Locicero, Natale Placidi, Domenico Placidi, Alberto Graziosi, Martina Romani, Romolo De Carolis, Marco De Santis, Ugo Mioni, Benedetto De Santis, Pierina Romani, Natale De Santis, Alessandro Benedetti, Giovanna De Santis, Antonio Rotondi, Liliana De Santis, Luigi De Santis, Mario Rotondi, Rosaria De Santis, Paolo De Santis, Mario Palmieri, Pierluigi Salvatori.
Producers’ coordinator
Domenico Placidi
Tel. 347 3791194
dome.placidi@gmail.com

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Francesca Litta
Tel. +39 333 9168733
flitta57@gmail.com
These days, many of the Vallepietra terraces have been abandoned and overgrown with grass, but when the bean was at the base of the local economy (exchanged for oil and wine from nearby Piglio) it was cultivated throughout the valley. In the last decades both bean cultivation and the village of Vallepietra have been gradually abandoned, and the variety has survived only thanks to a few local families.
Now, a small consortium of farmers is starting to revive all of the traditional legumes from the Simbrivio Valley. Thanks to the Presidium they are also promoting the Vallepietra bean, in an attempt to bring new life back to the valley.

Production area
Vallepietra municipality, Rome province

Presidium supported by
Lazio Regional Authority, Arsial, Vallepietra Municipality, Monti Simbruini Regional Park, Rome Provincial Authority

Consorzio dei Produttori della Valle del Simbrivio
Presidente Alessio Antonio Lo Cicero
Vallepietra (Rm)
Via Tre novembre n. 7
Tel. +39 340 7424054
mieledautore@libero.it

Producers: Alessio Locicero, Natale Placidi, Domenico Placidi, Alberto Graziosi, Martina Romani, Romolo De Carolis, Marco De Santis, Ugo Mioni, Benedetto De Santis, Pierina Romani, Natale De Santis, Alessandro Benedetti, Giovanna De Santis, Antonio Rotondi, Liliana De Santis, Luigi De Santis, Mario Rotondi, Rosaria De Santis, Paolo De Santis, Mario Palmieri, Pierluigi Salvatori.
Producers’ coordinator
Domenico Placidi
Tel. 347 3791194
dome.placidi@gmail.com

Slow Food Presidium coordinator
Francesca Litta
Tel. +39 333 9168733
flitta57@gmail.com

Territory

StateItaly
RegionLazio

Other info

CategoriesLegumes