Fagiolo Secondo del Piano di Orvieto (local variety of bean)
Phaseolus vulgaris L.
RISK OF EROSION: Medium-high
Variety with short production cycle: it is sown in a period that goes from 20 June to 3 July and is harvested from October. Late planting can help you escape weevil attacks. Furrows are generally traced, which are previously wetted, then sown on the row.
The Secondo del Piano Bean does not need particular treatments and fertilizations having a short crop cycle and being a rustic variety. According to tradition, it is this legume that follows other crops on the ground such as cereals and vegetables and therefore exploits the organic substance left by their residues as well as releasing nitrogen like all legumes.
It is a fixed development bean. The seeds are white in color and elliptical in shape. When the pods begin to turn yellow and the leaves have partially fallen, the plants are uprooted and left to dry, then shelling is carried out.
Probably a first quote of this variety appears in the text of Luigi Catanelli “Uses and Customs in the Territory of Perugia at the beginning of the 20th century” where he recounts how in Perugia in Piazza delle Erbe at the time there were «Orvieto beans», suggesting that the Orvieto beans were a delicious typicality on a par with other more famous ones such as the Conventine apples of Gubbio, the lentils of Castelluccio and the Cannara onions.
The beans mentioned were probably grown in the Orvieto plain at the base of the cliff, along the bank of the Paglia river, a particularly suitable area because it is rich in veins of excellent water coming from the surrounding slopes, including the well-known water from the Tamburino area. Some elderly farmers in the area remember abundant bean crops right in the land adjacent to the Paglia river: alluvial, fresh and permeable lands. From the stories of the elders of the area, on these lands, also very suitable for wheat, some particular types of beans with a very short cycle were grown in the second harvest, in June after the threshing, and for this reason they were called “second plan beans”.
Of those types, only one has survived, kept by an elderly local farmer: a bean with an upright, non-climbing habit, with a creamy-white seed and an obovate shape. In the 1950s, this bean was even called “the white gold of Paglia”. Testimonies dating back to the First World War tell of the mayor at the time engaged in beating the second beans of the plan.
The tradition of this bean is also testified by some documents of the Itinerant Chair of Agriculture which date back to the end of the 1800s. The farmers sold it or bartered it to buy olive oil, which was not produced in the Piano area.
The recovery of the local variety dates to about 15 years ago when Mr. Costantino recovered this bean from an elderly farmer close to him and began to cultivate it in the Piano di Orvieto area. Since then, cultivation has also extended to other farmers who have managed to obtain recognition as a Slow Food Presidium. Later on, the Association “Il Fagiolo secondo del Piano di Orvieto” was formed.
TYPICAL PRODUCTION AREA
Land located in the Paglia river valley, at the foot of the cliff of Orvieto and up to Ponte Giulio.
The Secondo del Piano Bean does not need to be soaked and has a very delicate flavour. It is eaten either on its own or as the main ingredient in the typical recipe of the area, the “uccelletto” beans. To prepare this dish, the legumes are boiled and then sautéed in a pan with garlic, oil, sage, and tomato, finally dressed with a drizzle of raw extra virgin olive oil.
Texts taken from “Regional Register of Autochthonous Genetic Resources of the Umbria Region”