Igp Sarconi beans are produced over a large area of the Val d’Agri from Tramutola and Marsico Nuovo as far as San Martino d’Agri.
They take their name from Sarconi where their cultivation has ancient roots.
After being awarded the Igp qualification in 1996, Sarconi beans have born the quality mark wherever they are sold.
This is the result of collaboration between all of the subjects along the production line who allowed this Lucanian country product to be put on the market.
Grown for centuries in the area of origin, the bean production is favoured by the particular environmental conditions and the abundant irrigation water which produces a different quality of Sarconi beans to beans from other areas. Moreover, the low summer temperatures and the coolness of the cultivation water give the seeds a high natural sugar content thus prolonging the time needed for the sugars to become starch.
This gives the beans their typical sweet flavour.
The soil used for the cultivation is cool, deep, fertile and over 600 metres in altitude.
The beans are sown between April and July depending on the variety.
For their cultural care, only agronomical practices and copper-based treatments are allowed.
Sarconi beans are oval or round in shape while the colour varies from pale yellow to white with darker stripes.
They are sold in 250 and 500g packets.
Cooking time is not long and they are used in soups or as a side dish.
Only local indigenous “cannellino” and “borlotto” beans are used in the production of Sarconi beans.
The most popular variety still carry their traditional picturesque names, for example: fasuli risi, tovagliedde, rampicanti, fasuli russi, verdolini, napolitanu vasciu, napulitani avuti, ciuoti or regina, tabacchino, munachedda, nasieddo, maruchedda, san Michele, muruseddu, truchisch, cannellino rampicante.
In recent years the agro-indigenous Sarconi beans and the beans from nearby Rotonda have been the subject of a project on harvesting, germoplasma preservation and seed selection for their reproduction.
A festival entirely dedicated to these tasty pulses is held in Sarconi during the second half of August.