Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Famous Beans of Lake Trasimeno

Soon after (how soon? Hey, too much is happening for me to date every thought I have) moving here I read for the first time in one tourist book or another about the famous beans of Lake Trasimeno, the fagiolino del Trasimeno. Even though I tend to enjoy me some beans (but not obsessively, or anything), I hadn’t managed to track down these illustrious beans until a few days ago. It’s probably not just me having trouble finding the beans—they were almost extinct (is saying foods are “extinct” correct phrasing by the way? Or is that giving too much weight to a legume?), due to the challenging cultivation process, which not only takes a while, but also has to be done by hand. Luckily, they were preserved, and Slow Foods gave them some props, and now they’re around, but not all around. We did find them on the contorni menu at La Cantina in Castiglione del Lago (which was detailed more here) on our second visit to that worthy restaurant, and so ordered them up. Were they worth it? For sure: small, delicate, but with lots of flavor (not as Texas-bayou as Black Eyed Peas, but not as place-holder-ish as other bean, they brought hints of lakeside living and creaminess). They were served almost soup style, with broth and veggies and a hint of local olive oil. And now I’ve eaten famous beans:

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