A legendary bean
The origin of the bean of Soissons is still being debated. Three stories claim the paternity. The first one refers to the Hundred Years War. Fleeing from the plague epidemic, some people from Soissons let some bean seeds escape from their bags. On their return, oh miracle ! The lost seedlings had become good big beans that were going to avoid the famine to the whole region. The second legend, known as the “Big White Jacquot” (1), refers to the size of this legume. Finally, according to the last legend, the fame of the bean of Soissons is due to a man named Le Paon, a watchman of the cathedral. As he was walking in circles at the top of his tower, the idea came to him to plant seeds along the railings. They grew and were distributed to the residents. Soissons had its bean !
Manual tradition, exceptional taste
Whatever its origin, the white bean of Soissons is a precious commodity. Only twenty or so producers, all located in the Soissons region, grow it on an area that does not exceed 10 hectares.
In addition to its rarity, the other specificity of this rustic legume is that it requires a lot of elbow grease. Sowing, harvesting, threshing, drying: everything is done by hand. But the result is worth all the sacrifices. Of a magnificent ivory color, the largest bean in France – 2 centimeters long when dry – has an exceptional taste, is not granular and has many nutritional advantages.