Ancient vegetables:

Ancient vegetables:

Production area and history

Region: Umbria
Production area: Cave di Foligno, a hamlet located on the right bank of the Topino river, at an altitude of 218 meters.

The presence of this bean in the area since the early twentieth century is witnessed directly by the local elders. Until the 1950s, production was over 10 tons, drastically dropped to about one ton per season today and the entire production is completely used and sold during the "Cave bean festival" which takes place the last three weekends of October.

Cave di Foligno bean (photo


Medium / small size "grainy" bean (length 12/18 mm, weight approx. 0.5 g), elongated ovoid shape. In the "Verdino" type, the color varies from light green (freshly picked) to light (dry) havana. In the "Yellow" type, the color oscillates between yellow / brown and light ocher. In addition to the pleasant taste, special characteristics are the high digestibility and ease of cooking due to the thinness of the peel. This quality is due to the soil, fertile and poor in limestone.

Plot cultivated with beans from Cave di Foligno (photo

Cultivation technique

The sowing takes place in the months of May / June (usually in succession to wheat / barley crops), amo (technique called "a postarelle" with 4/5 beans on holes about 40 cm apart) or with a seeder (1
bean every 5/7 cm).
Cultivation is characterized by the absence of treatments with chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.
Weeding is mechanical. Irrigation is in furrows.
The harvest takes place at once, in the months of August / September, in dry pods, by mowing the plants and following "threshing" in the farmyard. Given the small size of the plots, these operations are mainly carried out manually.
The drying is obtained by letting the beans dry in large and airy rooms.
Storage is possible until the year following the collection, in glass jars or diplomatic bags, without the addition of preservatives. Freezing has also recently emerged.


The fine culinary characteristics of this bean are linked to the thin skin, easy cooking and exquisite taste. These peculiarities make it suitable for many typical recipes of the Foligno area.

Video: Wild vs Domesticated Foods (December 2021).