The bean pods grow on a pole-type bean plant, up 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) long per pod and the pods are mottled with red; inside, the beans have thin, white skins also with red mottling.
Lamon Beans can be eaten as a shelling bean or a dried bean.
They are grown on the Lamon and Sovramonte plains in the Veneto region of Italy.
Lamon Beans are planted traditionally on the third of May, which is Santa Cruz day, and harvested starting the second half of August through to the end of September.
There are 4 varieties:
- Spagnolet: smallest, holds its shape well, good for salads;
- Spagnolo: somewhat larger, oval, for soups and salads;
- Calonega: the largest of the 4 with a cracked surface appearance, red, for soups;
- Canalino: dark, oval, thickest skin. Best puréed.
The production of Lamon Beans has been controlled by the “Consorzio per la tutela del fagiolo di Lamon della Vallata Bellunese” since 1993. In 1996, they obtained European PGI protection.
Lamon Beans have been grown on the Lamon plain for about 500 years. A man named Pietro Valeriano (aka Giovan Pietro Dalle Fosse) was an official for Pope Clemente VII. Reputedly, the Pope gave him a bag of beans from Spain and he brought the beans to the area in 1532. The beans were popular, and replaced the growing of peas and broad beans,
When sold fresh, Lamon Beans are called “badana” in the local dialect.