A bean highly prized in the Basque Country, this variety has been grown in this area and sold in local markets since ancient times.
The Tolosa bean (Tolosako Babarrunak in Basque) is from the species Phaseolus Volubilis. It is oval shaped and dark purple - almost black - in colour, very soft and fleshy to the touch. Its diameter varies between 0.5 and 1.5cm, depending on the variety. The tolosa bean has a light skin and is buttery on the palate. Both because of its quality and its cultivation method (maintaining ancestral techniques and respect for the natural environment) it was granted the Kalitatea mark (Basque Food Quality Label) in 1999 for beans classified in tasting as excellent or very good. On the market it is presented in canvas sacks or pre-cooked in glass jars.
- Type of product: Pulses
- Season: The bean is harvested by hand at the end of September or October, and after being left to dry for a period of time that varies depending on the rain, it can be eaten throughout the year.
- Origin: Its cultivation extends throughout the province of Guipúzcoa, although its production is most notable in the counties of Tolosa and Goierri.
- To drink with it: It will depend on the method of preparation and the ingredients of the dish, but the beans are generally delicious accompanied by cold txacolis from the Basque Country and crianza or young red wines, especially those from La Rioja.
- Varieties: This bean belongs to the 'Tolosana' (Aiena) variety. According to size, there is the 'Txiki' type, between 0.5 and 1cm., and the 'Haundi' between 1 and 1.5cm.
- Energy: Average
- Cholesterol: 0
- Comments: Rich in carbohydrates, fibre and calcium.