Unlike in the past beans are highly regarded today, thanks mainly to the improvements implemented in the cultivation techniques and the work of several associations. There are three types of local beans in the Basque Country.

Bean from Tolosa

This is a darkish type of bean that is cultivated in the region of Tolosaldea. It is cultivated from mid-May till mid-October and its harvest is celebrated in November, which is when its consumption also begins. Of oval shape and smooth to the touch, it is of a deep purple color, almost black, hence its nickname of ‘black pearl’. When eaten, it is traditionally accompanied with vegetable blood sausage, pork, cabbage and chilis from Ibarra.

Bean from Gernika

It is a long and oval bean of maroon color, sometimes including pink and cream hues. It has been cultivated since the 18th century in the regions of Mungia, Busturialdea and Lea Artibai in Vizacaya. Unlike that from Tolosa, this bean’s skin is thicker, not as dark, and the broth that it renders when cooked is lighter. It is usually cooked together with chorizo, blood sausage, and pork belly and ribs and served as a main dish.

Potato from Alava

This is an oval bean with pinkish spots. When eaten, it stands out thanks to its exquisiteness and extremely light skin. It is cultivated in the mountain regions and valleys of Álava, and it is sowed in May and harvested manually by the end of September or beginning of October.

Did you know…

Basque farms began sowing beans over 500 years ago using the most sustainable means? Today there are about 74 businesses that produce Basque beans and 3 that pack it for its commercialization.

Which are the most typical Basque dishes?

Descubre los platos tipicos