Gardening

Fesols of Santa Pau

In the imposing region of Garrotxa, which belongs to the province of Girona, located in the Autonomous Community of Catalonia, in NE Spain, is the geographical area where they are grown, els Fesols de Santa Pau with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO).

The cultivation of beans in this area is known to be traditional, because already in 1834, the word » fesols » appears in a manuscript found at that time, belonging to the diary of a » pagès » farmer of the time.

Phaseolus vulgaris L. bean seeds, of the traditional Tavella Brisa, Setsetmanera and Gra Petit varieties, are the ones protected by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), under the name » Fesols de Santa Pau «. They are marketed dry, cooked and preserved.

The geographical area where they are produced and processed corresponds to the municipalities of Santa Pau, which is the main production nucleus, and Castellfollit de la Roca, Les Planes d’Hostoles, Les Preses, Olot, Sant Feliu de Pallerols and Sant Joan les Fonts., all of them belong to the Garrotxa region.

The special qualities of this bean are given by its fertile lands of volcanic origin together with traditional germplasm. This type of soil is porous and light, so it retains rainwater without causing waterlogging, which could damage the crop. Its maturation occurs in the month of August, which is when temperatures are highest.

Completely white, kidney-shaped, small in size, shiny surface and light in texture, the Fesols de Santa Pau have a very mild flavor and creamy texture on the palate, their skin is almost imperceptible, so they are very pleasant to eat.

Legumes are a rich source of vegetable protein, so consuming Fesols de Santa Pau, in addition to being a delight for the palate, provides us with minerals such as calcium, zinc, and iron.

They also have a high content of vitamins, B1, B3, B9. The presence of antioxidants benefits health in general, especially that of the cardiovascular system. Controls cholesterol due to its contribution in fiber, which prevents the absorption of saturated fats.

All kinds of recipes are made with them, some of them with great traditional roots such as “ Fesols de Santa Pau amb butifarra i cansalada ”. In addition to the traditional dishes that are well worth tasting, all kinds of stews, potages, soups, salads, gazpachos, sautéed, or cooked with meat, fish and sausages can be made with els Fesols de Santa Pau.

Since 2015, els Fesols de Santa Pau have enjoyed the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) certificate, granted by the European Commission.

With this distinction, compliance with the strictest quality controls by the Regulatory Council is guaranteed, so that the preparation of this product is only carried out with beans covered by the PDO and its content is only Fesols de Santa Pau, water and salt, not being able to contain any other type of additive, or preserve.

Els Fesols de Santa Pau is never sold in bulk, so the consumer must find, in addition to the marketing brand, the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) seal, which guarantees the product.

Image: Pep Sau / Association of Growers of Fesols de Santa Pau

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