The garrofon, an essential ingredient of the Valencian paella

The garrofón bean is one of the essential ingredients in Valencian paella. It is a difficult ingredient to find outside Valencia and many people do not know how to differentiate it from other beans used in other recipes. In this short post we will tell you some interesting facts that will help you before buying garrofón.

What is the garrofón or 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 very nutritious and tasty legume, rich in energy and fibre, it also contains folic acid, vitamin B9 and minerals such as iron and potassium. It has its origins in the Aztec culture more than 5,000 years ago but nowadays this bean is only grown in Valencia where it is one of the essential ingredients of the Valencian paella. When fresh it is green in colour and when dried it has a characteristic white colour with brown speckles.

The garrofón in Valencian paella

The Valencian bean stands out for its great capacity to absorb and transmit flavours to the broth in which it is included, together with its thin skin, creamy texture and purple pigmentation, it is essential when preparing an authentic Valencian paella.

How do you cook the garrofón in Valencian paella?

If you have the time, it is best to soak it in water for 24 hours before cooking. If you don't have the time, you can soak it in water for 24 hours. If you do not have time, you can boil it for 30 minutes. Once the garrafón is hydrated, add it to the paella just after adding the water.