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The Warsaw Voice » Special Sections » February 23, 2012
Regional and Traditional Products
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Fasola Wrzawska Beans
February 23, 2012   
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This January the European Commission registered fasola wrzawska (“runner beans from Wrzawy”) as a protected designation of origin. This is the 33rd Polish product registered in the EU system encompassing protected designations of origin (PDO), protected geographical indications (PGI), and traditional specialties guaranteed (TSG).

Fasola wrzawska beans, which are produced in Tarnobrzeg and Stalowa Wola counties in podkarpacie province, are characterized by the large size of the beans, a thin seed coat and delicate structure and consistency. The beans have a special sweet flavor that makes them a highly valued culinary product.

The unique quality of fasola wrzawska beans is due to a special combination of natural factors (climate and soil) and local farmer skills and expertise in bean cultivation. The applicants for the EU registration of fasola wrzawska were producers from the PiÍkny Ja∂ Runner Bean Producers’ Association in Wrzawy.

The region where fasola wrzawska beans are grown has high-quality alluvial soils and a unique microclimate, the effect of the proximity of two large rivers. The beans are grown in Podkarpacie province on the Tarnobrzeg Plain and in the Lower San River Valley. The Vistula River marks the area’s northwestern boundary. The San River cuts across the region, flowing into the Vistula near Wrzawy. This is the northern part of the Sandomierz Valley.

The area in question is warmer than neighboring regions and enjoys a long frost-free period that extends the growing season. The lowland nature of the region, protected as it is by surrounding uplands, means winds here are less strong, resulting in a high-quality crop since beans are sensitive to wind. The natural features of the geographical region combined with human skills, which include proper staking, manual and gradual harvesting of the beans as they ripen and drying them in the open air, result in a product that is truly unique.

Fasola wrzawska beans are the dried seeds of Phaseolus multiflorus, a multi-flowered runner bean. The weight of 1,000 seeds (beans) ranges from 2,100 to 2,900 g depending on the soil and meteorological conditions during growth. The seeds should be flat, kidney-shaped, clean, whole, ripe, well developed, with moisture of no more than 18 percent, not shriveled, without holes made by insects. The beans have a glossy seed cover uniformly white in color.

Fasola wrzawska seeds are 40 to 90 percent bigger than other kinds of multi-flowered beans. They can absorb 20 percent more water than beans from other geographical areas. They are sweet with a natural individual smell; they take about 10 minutes less to cook than beans from other areas.
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