Beans have been regarded primarily as a staple food for peasants, an affordable protein source for the mass, and a symbol of rustic simplicity by writers of all ages. Among legumes, the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) probably plays the leading role in typifying these attributes. This species has also shown a remarkable ability to spread around the globe and to replace similar local species in virtually all the cuisines of the world, being nowadays embodied in the gastronomy of several countries. Attitudes toward beans are changing recently, and this legume is no longer considered as only the meat of the poor. This review aims to present a critical overview of the history and role in the gastronomy of common bean and other main cultivated legumes in Italy. After presenting the origin of common bean and its name, and the impact of its introduction to Europe, this contribution discusses the gastronomic history of beans in Italy and the role that socio-cultural differences have played in shaping the use of beans, the conservation of landraces, and food diversity. Finally, perspectives are discussed considering the recent trends in gastronomy and food tourism.

Food history and gastronomic traditions of beans in Italy

Corrado G.
Primo
2022

Abstract

Beans have been regarded primarily as a staple food for peasants, an affordable protein source for the mass, and a symbol of rustic simplicity by writers of all ages. Among legumes, the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) probably plays the leading role in typifying these attributes. This species has also shown a remarkable ability to spread around the globe and to replace similar local species in virtually all the cuisines of the world, being nowadays embodied in the gastronomy of several countries. Attitudes toward beans are changing recently, and this legume is no longer considered as only the meat of the poor. This review aims to present a critical overview of the history and role in the gastronomy of common bean and other main cultivated legumes in Italy. After presenting the origin of common bean and its name, and the impact of its introduction to Europe, this contribution discusses the gastronomic history of beans in Italy and the role that socio-cultural differences have played in shaping the use of beans, the conservation of landraces, and food diversity. Finally, perspectives are discussed considering the recent trends in gastronomy and food tourism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/899293
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