Garrofón, the essential ingredient in Valencian paella

The garrofón is one of the essential ingredients of the Valencian paella. However, outside of Valencia, this is a hard-to-find ingredient, and many people don’t know how to tell it apart from other beans used in other recipes. In this short post we are going to tell you some interesting facts to help you before you buy Garrofóns.

What is the Garrofón or the Garrofón bean?

The Garrofón is a legume of the Phaselolus lunatus family, also known as the Valencian bean, broad bean, Lima bean or Madagascar bean. It is a highly nutritious and tasty legume, rich in energy and fiber, it also contains folic acid, vitamin B9 and minerals such as iron and potassium. It has its origins in Aztec culture more than 5,000 years ago, but nowadays this bean is only grown in the Valencia region, where it is one of the essential ingredients of Valencian paella. When fresh it is green, when dried the garrofón has a characteristic white color with brown speckles.

The garrofón in Valencian paella

The Valencian garrofón stands out for its excellent ability to absorb and transmit the flavors of the paella ingredients and the broth in which it is cooked. Together with its thin skin, its creamy texture and its purple pigmentation, it is essential for the preparation of an authentic Valencian paella.

How to cook the garrofón in the Valencian paella?

The dry garrofón used in Valencian paella must be soaked in water. If you have the time, it is best to soak the beans in water 24 hours before cooking. If you don’t have time, you can also pre-cook them for 30 minutes. When the garrafón is sufficiently soaked, add it to the paella immediately after adding the water or broth.

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