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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » September 30, 2011
Regional and Traditional Products
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Korczyn Beans
September 30, 2011   
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Fasola korczyńska (Korczyn beans), whose name is derived from the village of Nowy Korczyn, was registered as a Protected Geographical Indication in the European Union in July 2010.

Beans marketed as Fasola korczyńska may only be produced in the following districts: Nowy Korczyn, Wi¶lica, Opatowiec, Solec-Zdrój and Pacanów. They are located in the southern section of the Nida Basin (Niecka Nidziańska) and in the Vistula Lowland along the Nida River, ¦więtokrzyskie province, southern Poland.

Beans are arguably some of the oldest crops cultivated in the Ponidzie part of ¦więtokrzyskie province. They were probably grown here as early as the 16th century, benefiting from the local soils which are warm, have a distinct consistency and are rich in mineral components. Bean crops like heat and thrive in the soils along the Vistula and Nida rivers. The local weather is conducive throughout the season, from germination to harvest. As a result, beans have been grown here for centuries, and local farmers have become expert in cultivating them.

Bean growing in the Nowy Korczyn area took off after the Nida River broke its banks at the end of the 1950s. The floods ruined most crops and after the water subsided the vacant fields were planted with beans. The most popular variation was Piękny Ja¶. Since the natural conditions in the area favored that particular variety and helped the beans grow larger than elsewhere, with time beans from the area started being referred to as Fasola korczyńska for several distinctive features resulting from the local microclimate.

Beans thrive on soils which are fertilized every year by the overflowing waters of the Nida River, producing abundant yields of sizable beans. They have a subtle taste and are particularly rich in proteins. Korczyn Beans are highly popular with consumers in Poland and abroad.

This part of Ponidzie has a microclimate that results in a longer vegetation season than in other areas of the region and higher average mean temperatures, especially in spring. As a result, the beans are so large that each 100 grams contains 60 to 90 individual beans. The flavor is very delicate, mild and contains no hint of bitterness. The flavor and the bean sizes are the distinctive features of the Korczyn variety, along with a higher protein content and a low water content.

Other characteristics of Korczyn beans include thin skins, a shorter cooking time compared to other bean varieties, a fine consistency without a mealy taste, as well as a distinct sweetness due to the characteristics of the location. The production process plays a major part as well, relying on the expertise of the local producers, who dry the beans in the open air on special frames. Korczyn beans are highly popular in the West who value it for its high protein and B-group vitamin content.

In the early 1980s, almost 50 percent of all bean fields in the province were located in the Nowy Korczyn district and 80 percent of that was the Piękny Ja¶ variety. The rest were middle-sized varieties and crops with beans of different colors.
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