The characteristic of small beans Tepary is to have a taste particularly pleasant, sweet, delicious, reminiscent of hazelnut, different from all other varieties' of beans.
The Tepary, very popular in the southwestern United States and Mexico, are still unknown for most of the other countries of the world. They were the staple food of Native Americans in prehistoric times. The earliest traces date back to 5000 years ago.
The name Tepary comes from the phrase of the Tohono O'odham, a tribe of Indians, "t'pawi" which means "it is a bean".
Botanically they are known as Phaseolus acutifolius and belong to the family of Fabaceae. They can vary in form and color, are oval, flat or round, with colors ranging from white to brown mottled with black.
The geographical distribution of crops extends from Arizona and New Mexico to Guanacaste in Costa Rica. They have a very short growing cycle, bloom after about 30 days after germination and produce mature beans in about 80 days. This allows to obtain, in the areas of origin, two crops a year.
An attraction of Tepary is their higher nutritional content. The protein content is greater than all other beans ranging from 23 to 30%. They have a very low tannin content and the nutritional inhibitors agents and the lecithin disappear almost completely when cooked, making them more digestible of common beans.
The major minerals they have inside are calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium as well as having a higher fiber content. The differences between Tepari and common beans are easily found in the following table published in the Journal Desert Plants (1983) University of Arizona.
|Tepary Beans||Common Beans|
|Raw proteins %||23,2||22,1|
|Raw fats %||0,8||1,7|
|Calories per 100 grams||320||341|
The biological quality of the protein is higher in Tepary than common beans.
A study by the Center for Food Analysis of Sonora in Mexico, has calculated the rate of efficiency of proteins and their digestibility: for Tepary is 1.48% while for common beans is 1.23%.
The Tepary are an ideal food for people predisposed to diabetes as they are rich in fiber that slows the absorption of carbohydrates.
They cook like the common beans, after soaking for at least 8 hours, they boil in water and you have to add salt only after cooking.
The cultivation of Tepary to "La Casetta" began in 2009 thanks to the collaboration with an American friend of Italian descent. Their cultivation is still experimental. We are cultivating different varieties of Tepary to see which is best suited to our climate and our seasons.
We can say that we are the first to have grown and marketed organic Tepary in Italy !