Fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese (Bean from Lamon in the Belluno Valley) IGP
Here we continue our introduction of Italy's 155 Protected Designations of Origin (PDO, or, in Italian, DOP, Denominazione di Origine Protetta) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI, or IGP in Italian, Indicazione Geografica Protetta) products.
This month we present a pod from the Veneto, more precisely, from the valleys surrounding the town of Belluno: the Fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese IGP (Bean from Lamon in the Belluno Valley). After initial difficulties in being accepted when humanist scholar Pierio Valeriano, brought it to his native Belluno, after he received a small amount of it from Pope
Clement VII, this product later played a very important part in the local economy. After WWII, the Fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese IGP established itself in both the national and international markets.
Fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese
(Bean from Lamon in the Belluno Valley IGP, Veneto)
Beans have been cultivated and appreciated for very long time, as documented by ancient vases filled with this legume found in Pre-Incan tombs in Peru. In addition, on the other part of the globe, ancient Egyptians offered beans to their gods.
The kind of beans known today as 'eye beans' (Vigna sinensis o unguiculata), are originally from the Sub-Sahara region, while borlotti, cannellini, and all other bean varieties (Phaseolus vulgaris) originated in the American continents, in particular from the area currently occupied by Mexico and Guatemala. Once that they were introduced in Europe, the New World varieties rapidly conquered the market, practically substituting the African variety almost completely.
Around the year 1530 the beans arrived in Belluno, brought by humanist scholar Pierio Valeriano, after he received a small amount of it from Pope Clement VII, who received them from the Spanish Court.
The introduction in the area of this legume was neither easy nor fast, in part because people believed that dried legumes were difficult to digest. It was thanks to the possibility of combining the cultivation of beans with other crops, which convinced the local farmers, who were thus able to produce more, diverse products in one single field.
A 1700 agricultural treatise from the Feltre district, makes reference to a much sought-after type of local bean. In addition, other documents from around the same period, reports that the beans from the Feltre area, that is, the current Fagioli di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese IGP, were considered the best in the province. The economic importance of the bean culture for the local; economy is underscored in the 'Risposte del Comizio Agrario di Feltre' ('Answers from the Feltre Agrarian Committee), written by G. P. Bellati in 1869, where it is stated that "following immediately the animal products, are the production of corn and beans; the first though, it is not enough to supply the demand of our local population, and two thirds of the second is exported."
After WWII, the beans from Feltre, better known as Fagioli di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese IGP, established themselves in both the national and international markets, appearing in recipes and food literature in Italy and abroad.
Characteristics of the Product
The local climate provides the ideal substratum for the cultivation of beans with unsurpassed organoleptic characteristics, such as the wafer-thin, soluble skins.
When offered for sale, the product is labeled with the wording 'Fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese', followed by the Indicazione Geografica Protetta denomination. In addition, to further protect and inform consumers, the label includes the name of the producing estate.
The product is marketed either fresh or dried. When sold fresh, the beans are packaged in 1, 5, 15, and 20 kilograms, while when dried they are sold in 0.5, 1, 2, 5and 10 kilogram packages.
There are four varieties of Fagioli di Lamon
- Spagnol: Oblong in shape, its skin has vivid red streaks on off-white background.
- Spagnolet: Smaller and somewhat rounder than the above this variety is particularly appreciated for the delicate flavor and extremely tender, soluble skin.
- Calonega. Bigger than all other types.
- Canalino: Particularly aromatic, but sparsely grown because of its skin, which is thicker compared to the other varieties.
- Production Zone:
Province of Belluno, including the mountain communities of Feltrino, Bellunese and Val Belluna, plus the municipalities of Alano di Piave, Arsiè, Cesiomaggiore, Feltre, Fonzaso, Lamon, Pedavena, Quero, S. Giustina, S. Gregorio, Lentiai, Mel, Trichiana, Belluno, Sospirolo, Sedico, Ponte, Vas, Limana, Sovramonte, and Seren del Grappa.
- Producers' Organization:
Consorzio Tutela Fagiolo di Lamon
Via Carlo Rizzarda, 21
32032 Feltre (BL)
phone: (+39) 0439/3331
fax: (+39) 0439/333203