Grown for centuries in the region of Lucca, these fabled beans are eaten in the walled city, often smothered in the best Tuscan olive oil as a side dish for meat or fish. They also find their way into Zuppa di Farro, the local version of the famous soup found in home kitchens all over Italy, and of course, you'll love them in Pasta e Fagioli.

They look somewhat like a borlotto bean (cranberry bean) dipped in hibiscus tea, and it would be easy to make the mistake of thinking they were similar to Borlotti, a mistake we've been making for years. They are a red bean, maybe the closest thing we offer to a kidney bean, but these are so superior to "kidney beans" that we're hesitant to make the comparison.

Our seed stock comes from Italy, but we are not calling them Rosso di Lucca out of respect for the local farmers in Tuscany. The beans are the same, but the terroir justifies a different, unique name.

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