Heirloom & Nearly Extinct, the Italian Solfino Bean | Le Marche and Food | Scoop.it

This spring we will plant an antique almost extinct bean, the solfino in our garden. I recently read an article from Le Marche & Food on Scoop.it (here) about a rare flavorful bean from our region of Italy, I was intrigued. We pride ourselves on eating locally, growing our own food & supporting the values of Slow Food, so the thought of preserving a Marche heirloom seed from the dangers of extinction from industrial production was exciting! I contacted La Bona Usanza, the head of the local Slow Food convivium and cooperative that is responsible for cultivating the bean.

In a noisy cafe in a medieval city outside Ancona we were told all about this curious, age-old bean. Solfino is small, round and pale yellow (like sulphur from which it takes its name) with a rich & creamy flavor commonly cultivated in the central Italy (Marche, Tuscany and Umbria) in the past.

The Solfino Bean has a particularly thin skin, creamy consistency, delicate taste and a capacity to hold up well in cooking. Affectionately considered “the rich mans beans,” because they are so costly (25 Euro/kilo) most Marchigiani serve guests just a spoonful drowned in extra virgin olive oil, because as our friend says, the beans are “come oro” like gold. We recommend you serve it just-boiled, still warm, with a healthy drizzling of your best olive oil and a pinch of salt. So simple, so perfect. Peasant cooking with a bean fit for a king!...