In the village of Tarbais at the foot of the Pyrenees in southwest France, a cooperative of growers produces one of the most renowned white beans of Europe. The variety is called Alaric (named for a local canal), and the purpose is singular: Cassoulet. Alaric holds the unusual distinction of being a bean used to lighten the meal up! Cassoulet is truly a rich and fatty affair for the winter months, traditionally full of pork, duck fat, and sausages, slow-cooked for hours, and the beans excel in this role: some softening to thicken the stock and some retaining their shape and texture in spite of their nearly non-existent skin. The name and production are protected by the French government with the Label Rouge (similar to other protected products like Champagne and Roquefort), meaning that any bean carrying the name “Tarbais” must come from the cooperative. We’re calling ours by the variety name, Alaric, Washington grown and slowly adapting from the original French stock to its new home at our farm. Vigorous vines grow to 7+’ and set wide, flat pods filled with the large, pure white beans. For a white bean, we found them fairly resilient to wet weather around harvest time.
100 days. UO
Packet: 40 seeds