“How a big white bean in the paella ????” Here is the typical reaction of the novice who sees for the first time an original paella … And yet this bean is essential to the paella. It is a big white bean with small red spots. It is a shelling bean, flat, and much larger than average. It is grown in the region of Valencia, where it is a fundamental element in the seasoning of rice especially Paella Valenciana. The Garrofò brings a particular flavor to it & a paella without Garrofò is not an authentic paella. The red speckled variety of Valencia, is going through an important crisis, because of its price and the competition of the imported products. If it is all white, it surely comes from Peru (but also from Ecuador or India), and will be cheaper but less tasty.
The Garrofon in the paella
Several choices are available to you:
The Garrofon is called “Garrofò” in the community of Valencia, elsewhere we use “judía garrofón” or “judía de Lima” or “judia of peru” or “Judiones” In the countries of South America, they are called “frijol of media luna “. But also “frijol of Madagascar”, because it is much cultivated on this island. There are surely other denominations but its scientific name is: Phaseolus lunatus.
The history of Garrofòn
It is now grown in the community of Valencia where it is a fundamental element in the ingredients of rice dishes and more particularly the paella. But if the use of vegetables as a basic diet can go back more than 20 000 years in some oriental cultures, the common bean, the lima bean (the Garrofon) and the pinta bean (pinta = dot which gave its name because the pod has red or pink dots) were first cultivated in early Mexican and Peruvian civilizations more than 5,000 years ago and were very popular in both Aztec and Inca culture.
Latin name: Phaseolus lunatus L. var. Macrocarpus Benth. (Fabaceae) (order: Fabales) Synonym: Cape pea, Limabohne, Lima bean, haba lima Origin: Spain Description: Beautiful grain of 2.5 / 1.5 cm white to brown eye to 3 or 4per pod on very vigorous, fast-growing plants with pale green foliage. Flat pod very wide. It is consumed at a very young age, cut or in grains. Like all beans, Garrofon belongs to the vast family of legumes. It is nutritious and tasty and is grown quite easily. This species is best grown in regions where summers are long and hot as in Valencia. Garrofon is rich in energy, fiber, folic acid or vitamin B9 and minerals such as potassium and iron, although its main component is complex carbohydrates: starch. It also provides a significant amount of vegetable protein. The contained fiber provides high satiety value, improves intestinal transit and helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Folic acid is a vitamin that helps in the treatment or prevention of anemia.
Which was useful to me: A nice article on the newspaper “El Pais”: Garrofon’s claim The site of Restaurante Levante who is very knowledgeable multilingual database