It is safe to assume from the name of this remarkably versatile vegetable that Romano beans are native to Italy. Hi, I'm Michele Romano.
When my Great Grandfather, Francesco Romano first emigrated from Italy to Canada in 1897, one of the prize possessions he brought with him was indeed these precious Italian pole beans. Jam packed with sweetness, Romano Beans are incomparable to the taste of any other green bean.
In 1903 my Great Grandmother, Carmella Romano was finally able to make the long journey to Canada to join her beloved Francesco. Unfortunately disaster strikes on April 29 4:10 am. In 90 seconds, 82 million tones of limestone sheer off the eastern face of Turtle Mountain and roars down into the Crowsnest Pass completely burying the small town of Frank Alberta, Canada. The Frank Slide is still known today as the greatest landslide in history.The Canadian Pacific Railway is totally wiped out. Carmella, now traveling by train from Italy is trapped on the other side. Horse and buggy eventually brought her and her firstborn son safely to Creston B.C. She named her second son, Frank.
As Carmella's family grew so did her bean patch! When these beans were finally handed down to my father, he was told "never lose these beans Guiseppe, you will never find bean seeds like these again". Just like Jack and the beanstalk, they were worth their weight in gold!
Great Grandma used these crisp, meaty and succulent pole beans in many of her simple, yet remarkable Italian meals. She even included them in some of her sauces.
Many Top Secret Romano family Italian soup recipes such as Pasta Fagioli, my Dad's pigweed (lambs quarter's) and beans, Italian Chicken Chili or my exquisite Romano Bean salad have been created using the fresh green Italian Pole beans from the first harvest, or the hearty dried brown beans from the fall harvest.
Carmella shared her hospitality with all who came to her doorstep. She died one day before her 100 th birthday. She could not speak a word of English, but like a typical Italian Grandmother, she would say "mangia, mangia". We knew what that word meant "Eat" and we did!
Our family continues to grow our cherished Italian Pole Beans to this day.
I can't even begin to tell you the health benefits of this incredible bean, and they are grown with out pesticides! You will find plenty of healthy dinner recipes using this astonishing vegetable on my website Michele Romano Recipes and also in my upcoming cookbook, Romano/Toscano Top Secret Recipes.
Note: Not everyone has access to these unique fresh or dried Beans. It is possible to find them canned. At some point my husband and I would like to grow enough of these amazing beans to be able to share them with everyone following my website. Watch for this in the future, but for now, canned Romano Beans or Pinto beans are a good substitute for the brown bean recipes. Whatever green beans you have available in your area can be used for the green bean recipes.