Fagioli di Paganica (Presidio Slow Food)
The cultivation of this legume requires a lot of manpower, which is why its future is linked to a motivated group of young farmers who believe in its production, also with the support of the Slow Food Presidium.
Paganica beans, imported from France, played an important role in the diet of the local population, when their cultivation was extremely widespread. They were used for soups, salads, pasta or ground into flour. The classic cultivation of scaffolding with reeds or ditches covers the entire area of the Gran Sasso and Monti della Laga National Park; it is sown in late spring and harvested by hand at the end of summer. There are two Paganica bean ecotypes, both with white flowers and climbing beans up to two metres high when supported by wooden poles. The only difference is the colour of the bean: the bread bean (or 'oil bean') is between beige and hazelnut and has a central eye, while the white bean (or 'pea bean') is ivory white and slightly round. The latter is softer than the "oil", which retains more flavor after cooking. Both are very good with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper or in the typical soup with cheek and homemade bread.