Lencho White Bean

Legumes - Bulgaria

The lencho (or lyancho) white bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) grows on a 3 m tall climbing plant. Bean pods are about 10 cm long and slightly hairy. The convex, oval shaped seeds are white with shades of light gray. The pods, called strings, are collected before drying, but after the beans have become well developed. They are then strong on a rope and hung to dry in well-ventilated area. The beans that are stored in this way are then used for consumption during the winter. The Lencho variety is grown mainly in villages in the Gotse Delchev municipality, in the Blagoevgrad district of southwest Bulgaria. The beans can be purchased at local markets, and are also frequently grown for home consumption. However, because the villages are populated mainly by elderly people who cannon manage very large cultivation areas, production of this variety is in decline. Larger producers are instead cultivating more commercial crops instead of the traditional lencho bean.