Italian PDO legumes represent an authentic culinary and nutritional treasure in the Italian agri-food scene, as well as a business opportunity for distributors and the food service industry. These products, thanks to their quality and link with the territory of origin, have gained considerable popularity among Italian and international consumers. Legumes, in addition to being a fundamental component of the Mediterranean diet, also offer numerous health benefits, thanks to the richness of nutrients and their contribution to a balanced diet.
In this article, we will analyze the sales and consumption of Italian PDO legumes, highlighting the essential role they play in the modern diet. In particular, we will focus on beans, one of the most popular and versatile legumes, and we will examine the case of the Consorzio di Tutela dei Fagioli Bianchi di Rotonda DOP (Consortium for the Protection of White Beans of Rotonda PDO), which is committed to preserving and promoting the excellence of white beans from Rotonda, a real jewel of the Italian culinary heritage.
Consumption and sales of Italian PDO legumes
Consumer interest in genuine, quality products has led to a significant increase in the consumption of Italian PDO legumes in recent years. The awareness of the health benefits of a balanced and sustainable diet has prompted many to choose legumes as an integral part of their diet. This trend has contributed to an increase in the sales of legumes, which have become the protagonists of the tables and of many prestigious restaurants.
In the last decade, the demand for legumes in Italy has grown by 47%. This increase has been driven by a significant change in consumer purchasing choices, which are increasingly moving towards sustainable and quality products. This is the result of an analysis conducted in 2022 by Coldiretti on Istat data on the occasion of World Legumes Day, established by FAO to raise awareness of the health benefits of legumes and to contribute to sustainable food systems. Furthermore, the study showed that Italian PDO legumes played a crucial role in this green turning point.
The most common legumes in Italy include beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas, and fava beans. But Italy also boasts numerous typical high-quality products recognized by the European Union, and this is the case with the Rotonda PDO white beans.
Rotonda White Beans PDO: Gastronomic excellence that tells the story of a territory
Rotonda White Beans are grown in a specific area of the Mercure Valley, within the territory of the Pollino National Park, which includes the municipalities of Rotonda, Castelluccio Inferiore, Castelluccio Superiore, and Viggianello.
The round-oval shape and the white integument with no streaks represent the distinctive features of this species of white bean, also called "Poverello". The denomination "Poverello" derives from the fact that, in the past, these legumes were used as a source of low-cost vegetable protein to feed the poorest people. In fact, the history of White Beans is deeply rooted in the rural tradition of the Mercure Valley and has played a leading role in the economy and in the nutrition of the local populations.
Rotonda white beans offer numerous nutritional advantages. Their high protein content (which reaches or exceeds 24% of dry matter) and the low percentage of integuments in relation to the total weight make them particularly appreciated for their flavor and ease of cooking. These characteristics, in fact, make it possible to considerably reduce cooking times, becoming a healthy and tasty choice to be used to enrich the daily diet.
Today, the "Fagioli Bianchi di Rotonda DOP" variety is present in numerous dishes of the local gastronomy, enriching the culinary tradition of the area. They can be used fresh, as green pods called "vaiane" or "green beans", or dried, which have a more intense flavor thanks to the higher concentration of aromas and nutrients.
These legumes can be used for the preparation of many dishes: soups, hors d'oeuvres, first courses, and creative reinterpretations of popular cuisine. Furthermore, to confirm the close bond of Rotonda beans with local tradition and culture, we must mention the traditional method, still used today, for cooking this product. In fact, local families usually cook the beans in the traditional "pignata", an earthenware container with a narrow mouth, to enhance the flavor and characteristics of this culinary treasure.
Market opportunities: Rotonda White Beans PDO
The Consortium for the Protection of Rotonda White Beans PDO is committed to preserving the uniqueness of these legumes, promoting their authenticity, and guaranteeing the traceability of the products.
Thanks to the activities carried out by the consortium, consumers can recognize and appreciate the PDO white beans from Rotonda as a culinary and nutritional excellence, while at the same time supporting the local economy and biodiversity.
The valorization of Rotonda white beans is an example of the successful promotion of Italian regional cuisine, that meets the demand for typical and high-quality products on the rise worldwide. To learn more about the business opportunities of these products, see also "Regional Italian Food: Business Opportunities for Distributors and Food Service Operators".
The commitment of the Consortium for the Protection of Rotonda White Beans, therefore, is to protect and promote a unique and high-quality product, which represents a culinary excellence rich in history and traditions.
This content was created in collaboration with the Consortium for the Protection of Rotonda White Beans PDO.
President: Angela Riccucci
Location: c.da Piano Incoronata snc - 85048 Rotonda (Potenza)
Telephone: +39 347 16 34 768