The round bean, the excellence of Villaricca in danger of extinction

by Chiara Sarracino

The past of Villaricca has the flavor of legumes. To be precise, let's talk about the round bean, which is one very ancient cultivation barely survived the wild urbanization of the territory, which devastated all the ancient cultivated fields. Today it seriously risks disappearing definitively from the tables, having long been included in the list of "Endangered fruit and vegetable varieties"By Coldiretti.
The flavors ofancient town of Panicocoli, however, they don't stop with beans. We also remember the Annurca apple and the bread which, fortunately, they enjoy better health.

Fagioli e riso
A nice dish of rice and beans, recipe of our fantastic Sara Carluccio di "In the kitchen with mom"

A prized cultivation

The Villaricca round bean is also known as "forty“, For its 40-day vegetative cycle. It used to be a little bit also in all the territories of Giugliano and neighboring municipalities. It was indeed a extremely easy to grow legume and, according to tradition, the plant was grown around some reeds planted in the ground, on which you climbed.

It was sold in all the markets of the country, as well as to Market Square, and it was the secret ingredient of Neapolitan pasta and beans, the traditional one, as it was particularly appreciated in the soups. There peculiarity of the rod, specifically, it was the ability to remain particularly compact even after boiling, while other beans tend to flake. He was also appreciated for his own storage capacity with drying, which also allowed consumption months after the crop.

Some local elders remember how even the Breakfast peasant consisted of a slice of boiled bread and beans, just as many remember the flavor of the bean sauce, which was ideal for making scarpetta.

Fagioli di Villaricca

Beans, how many benefits!

Besides being an extremely variety digestible, easy to cook and dal taste particularly strong, the beans of Villaricca share all beneficial properties typical of the legume.

They are in fact also recommended in the diet, since it is a caloric food, but very rich in nutrients, vitamins and minerals. In particular they are rich in carbohydrates and contain a very high quantity of proteins. Let's not forget the fiber, contained in the skins, which is a cure-all for the intestine.

Let's resurrect the Villaricca rod!

There was a attempt of the Municipality of Villaricca for bring back the beans in the territory where they were born. In fact, a task force was inaugurated in 2011, with the collaboration ofUniversity of Agriculture of Portici, to create small fields in which to resume ancient traditions. The experiment did not last long and, since then, the only legumes in the province of Naples are those canned in supermarkets that crowd the long and confused Provincial Road that connects all the towns after North Naples.
The last round bean crops survive in the parts of province of Caserta, but also here the future is far from cheerful: not being particularly well-known products, their diffusion is increasingly limited.

-Chiara Sarracino

References:
http://www.agricoltura.regione.campania.it/tipici/tradizionali/fagiolodivillaricca.htm#:~:text=Il%20fagiolo%20che%20prende%20il,tutto%20il%20territorio%20del%20Giuglianese.
http://www.quicampania.it/piattitipici/fagioli.html

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