Botifarra amb mongetes is one of Catalonia’s traditional signature dishes, and in general mongetes, or beans, play a large role in Catalan cuisine. In fact, so established is the use of beans in the country’s cuisine that certain varieties and recipes have become associated with particular localities. An example is the green beans grown in the small town of Castellfollit de Boix, in Bages county, whose link with the local pulses dates back to the 16th century. In 1994 they were officially designated a Bages food product.
Castellfollit de Boix’s green beans have a fine, balanced texture with shiny skins, and they are well-adapted to the dry soil and climate of Bages county. The beans are mostly harvested in July and into August, although they can also be gathered later, as the beans survive well while still on the plant.
Their taste is reminiscent of sweet corn, while their aroma has something of the potato about it. The beans are most commonly eaten as an accompaniment to grilled meat, cansalada bacon or an omelette, although they are also often used in stews.
As with other types of beans, the Castellfollit de Boix variety contains complex carbohydrates as well as having a high protein content. The beans are most commonly found for sale in shops in the Cardener area, although as a member of Catalonia’s Local Products of the Land Network, Bages county council actively works to protect and promote these beans from Castellfollit del Boix.