Text: CUINA MAGAZINE Photo: Anna García Frigola
Hooked on beans
The Mongeta del Ganxet is a staple of Catalan cuisine and has protected status
A variety of phaseolus vulgaris, which is also known as the common bean or French bean, the Mongeta del Ganxet has become particularly associated with the Catalan counties of Vallès Occidental, Vallès Oriental and Maresme. In fact, since 2007, the beans grown in these areas have been officially categorised with the protected designation of origin seal, or DOP. In 2012, the European Union also awarded the Mongeta del Ganxet geographical protected status. On a more local level, the Vallès Occidental Tourism Consortium, which is a member of the Earth Products Network, supports the promotion and marketing of the Mongeta del Ganxet DOP.
A medium sized bean characterised by its white skin, and round and flattened shape, Mongeta del Ganxet beans have a characteristic hook at one end, from which they get their name, ganxet meaning ’small hook’ in Catalan.
The beans have a fine, soft texture, a mellow flavour and they leave a floury sensation in the mouth, which makes them ideal for use in stews and salads.
However, in the traditional cuisine of the Catalan Countries, the beans are also often eaten after being fried with a little bacon. They are also commonly used as an accompaniment to the Catalan sausage known as botifarra, making the emblematic Catalan dish known as botifarra amb mongetes.
As for the nutritional value of Mongeta del Ganxet beans, they have quite a high protein content and they contain a low proportion of starch when compared to other types of beans.