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beans, beans, beans and more beans

Italy is simply full of beans, whether you call them fagioli, fagiolini, fasol, fasoli, fagiuoli, fasoi (northeast Italy), fasogli (Lazio), fasciuole (Molise) fasûj in Friuli or faseui (northwest Italy).

fagiolane: white beans similar to fagioli spagnoli; the fagiolane della Val Borbera in Piedmont are in the Ark of Taste.

fagioli: dried beans

fagioli al fiasco: cooked in a flask.

fagioli borlotti: borlotti beans.

fagioli di Badalucco, Conio e Pigna: from Liguria, a white bean introduced from Spain in the 1600s, perfect for making zemin. In the Ark of Taste.

fagioli con occhio: black-eyed peas.

fagioli corona: large white beans, used in salads.

fagioli di Lamon: four varieties of white beans with carmine spots, grown on the Lamon and Sovramonte plateaux in the mountain communities of Feltre, Belluno and Valbunella (Veneto): the Spagnol is good in salads, the Spagnolet is very tender and good in antipasti; the thicker-skinned Canalino and Calonega are good in soups.

fagioli gentili, fagioli cornetto or fagioli dall'occhio: cow peas or black eyed peas.

fagioli piattellini: another name for fagioli di Sorana (see below).

fagiolina del Lago di Trasimeno: delicate small white, brown or even black beans; known since the ancient Etruscans. Ark of Taste.

fagiolini: French (green) beans.

fagiolo badda di Polizzi: grown in Sicily, in two varieties: orange and white coloured Bianca or black and white Nero. Ark of Taste.

fagiolo cannellino: cannellini beans.

fagiolo cesarins Similar to peas, grown in Friuli's Val Pesarina

fagiolo coco: flat green beans.

fagiolo di Controne: little white beans from Campania, famous for their thin skin so that you don't need to soak them before cooking. Ark of Taste.

fagiolo gialèt della Val Belluna: Small, pale green bean, also known as fasol biso or solferino imported from America and grown by Humanist Pietro Valeriano and grown around Belluna in the Veneto; generally served simply boiled with a drizzle of olive oil. Ark of Taste.

fagiolo di Platischis big fleshy beans that grow in the mountains of Friuli, used in many rustic dishes. Ark of Taste.

fagiolo poverello: the fat creamy white bean of Basilicata that so enchanted Garibaldi that he took some home with him to grow in his farm in Sardinia. Ark of Taste; fagiolo poverello bianco di Rotondo are DOP.

fagiolo romano: tender, meaty flat pole beans, eaten whole.

fagiolo di Sarconi: the speckled maroon and white bean of Basilicata; Ark of Taste.

fagioli sgranati: freshly shelled beans

fagioli alla smolz: beans with lardo, onion, butter, and vinegar

fagiolo di Sorana: much prized, meltingly tender white, or pale pink bean from the hills above Pistoia in Tuscany. The composer Rossini loved them so much he once worked for them in lieu of cash. Ark of Taste.

fagioli spagnoli or di Spagna: large white beans, often used in salads. Same as fagioli corona.

fagiolini tondini: small white beans from Lazio.

fagioli all'uccelletto: beans in sage, tomatoes and garlic. The name means 'little birds' but it's entirely vegetarian, although it recalls a similar method of preparing game birds (Tuscany).

fagiolo zampognaro: dark reddish beans with white markings grown on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples; when cooked the bean swells up and look like a little bagpipe (zampognaro). Ark of Taste.

fagioli zolfino: as the name suggests, pale sulphur coloured beans from Pratomagno near Arezzo, often served with a bistecca alla fiorentina. In the Ark of Taste.

fagiuoli: beans (Tuscany).

The Florentines were nicknamed the bean-eaters, the mangia-fagiuoli. There’s an old Florentine saying:

Fioretin mangia fagiuoli

Lecca piatti e tovaglioli

(The Florentine who eats beans, licks the plates and tablecloths).

Especially Tuscany. One of the first Italians to cultivate the new haricot beans (Phaseolus vulgaris, a species that includes cannellino, pinto and kidney beans) introduced from the New World as a Florentine church canon, Pietro Valeriano who began to plant them in pots in 1528. Alessandro dei' Medici was an early fan, and a century later beans were being sold on street carts.

Also see piattelle canavesane di Cortereggio.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: linda!