trecase, campania, italia
Dente di Morto di Acerra bean has a thin skin and cooks quickly, characteristics due to cultivation on volcanic soils rich in nutritional elements. The plants are a non-climbing bush, with an intense green color. Traditionally, beans are sown at two different times of the year, April and July, to have two different harvests. The “dead tooth” bean is grown according to environmentally friendly practices.
The name is related to the opaque white color, similar to the color of a dead man’s teeth. In fact, in the Acerra area since the early Christian era there were numerous burial sites and this motivated the local population to give it this name.
The area is described by historians and writers of ancient Rome like an area characterized by a dense presence of large and small rivers, essential for the irrigation. Often these channels flooded the land turning them into a huge swamp. Works to drain the area began in the 16th century. The description of the cultivation of beans in the Acerranean countryside is reported in several texts on the history of the city but the most interesting and significant of the so-called “dead tooth” bean is found in the Gastronomic Guide of Italy published by the Italian Touring Club in 1931. In the guide, beans are indicated as the Acerra specialty, which at the time was even exported to America.
In recent decades, the cultivation of dead tooth has drastically reduced in particular due to changes in eating habits and the strong growth of imported beans. The Dente di Morto di Acerra Bean was preserved only in family gardens, until a recovery and enhancement program of the native Campania horticultural germplasm, supported by the Campania Region, recovered the ecotype that is currently cultivated by a small group of farmers who adhere to the Presidium.
The excellent softness and intense flavor make it a characteristic ingredient of the recipes of the Neapolitan gastronomic tradition: pasta and beans, soups.
Precooked beans preserved in glass