Tarreste

Crop: Phaseolus vulgaris L. (Common bean)

The history of pulses in Portugal results and reflects the presence of several and successive ancient civilizations as well as the Portuguese expansion in the World and its expression in the Mediterranean diet. Common bean has been introduced and cultivated in Portugal, since the 16th century, as a result of introductions from the Portuguese discoveries.

‘Tarreste’ is a landrace from Sistelo, Arcos de Valdevez, where the farms, like all farms located in mountainous areas in Portugal, are based on small plots of land. In Sistelo, the land is terraced, most of the agricultural work is manual and supported by animals (also an autochthonous breed, ‘Cachena’) and the production mode is ecological and using low inputs.

This landrace stands out in nutritional studies and studies in the framework of functional foods (e.g. Cardoso et al. 2000, Reis & Miranda 2000, Pereira et al. 2011, Lopes et al. 2015)

Cultivation System: ND.

Geographical Information

Country: Portugal

The landrace ‘Tarrestre’ originated in Sistelo, a parish from small town Arcos de Valdevez, and is present in villages like Padrão, Porto Cova e Igreja, as well as in Lordelo, a village of Cabreira parish. Its distribution occurs within the Peneda-Gêres National Park (PNPG), located in the north-west mountain area of Portugal. PNPG covers areas of five counties and shares a border of 100 km with Spain, in Galicia Region. In 2009, PNPG has been included in the transboundary Gerês-Xurés Biosphere Reserve. The common bean landrace ‘Tarrestre’ is amongst the landraces considered in the Biosphere Reserve management plan.


Farmer(s) description:

The production of this landrace is supported by the knowledge of elderly women farmers and there are local recipes using this landrace in Arcos Valdevez in PNPG. It is a great example of domestication in conditions of isolation, where the original genetic variability is retained by natural selection and by farmers' action.

In the village of Padrão, for example, ‘Tarrestre’ presents determined to undetermined intermediate growth, it can be sown in association with maize.

It is sown in the first half of April, in low proportions associated with maize (1:3 or 1:10) or sowed extreme. Mineral fertilization is not necessary because these farmers apply large amounts of manure, irrigate 4 times within 15 days apart, they also eliminate manually the weeds and the ridging is also manual. The harvest takes place between late July (in Padrão) and during August (in Lordelo).

This common bean is used in human and traditional food, soups, with pasta and in rice dishes.

‘Tarreste’ landrace is characterized by a fibrous pod wall, with a higher number of locules per pod but with small seeds. This landrace is a mixture of seeds characterised by different colours, that go from yellow to black. The weight of 100 seeds puts this landrace in the group of the Mesoamerican gene pool.

The ‘Tarreste’ landrace has the following characteristics: 50 days to flowering date, colour of wings white with notes of purple and lilac, pod dimension 9,0 x 0,8-0,85 cm, 5-6 locules per pod, plant habitat growth bush or indeterminate type, shape seed cuboid, the seed colour is a strong mark, where light cream is the dominant colour, but brown, yellow and black seeds are present and give the landrace its own profile, 29-51 seeds per plant and 5-6 seeds per pod, height plant range between 114 and 161 cm, 100 weight seeds 29-22 g, seeds dimension 13,0-12,0x5,0 mm.


Propagation system: Seed, self-pollination

Multiplication procedures and consequences on landrace diversity:

Contamination by foreign pollen during multiplication may have changed the genetic identity of bean populations, which emphasizes the need for extended efforts to maintain the genetic integrity of the ‘Tarreste’ landrace. It is very important to raise awareness about the need to maintain the proportion of the colours and types of seeds that give rise to the genetic profile of this landrace.

Management plan existence:

This landrace is registered in the Ark of Taste of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Nowadays, the landrace ‘Tarreste’, besides being used in the traditional way, it is also used in a regional sweet, in a concept of innovation, giving new uses to traditional landraces. In addition, young students and young chefs are currently using this landrace to develop new dishes in international competitions.

Added Values

Market - existing and novel:

This landrace is registered in the Ark of Taste of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity. Nowadays, the landrace ‘Tarreste’, besides being used in the traditional way, it is also used in a regional sweet, in a concept of innovation, giving new uses to traditional landraces.

In addition, young students and young chefs are currently using this landrace to develop new dishes in international competitions.

Others (e.g. commercial/geographical brands or special traits):

This regional variety is registered in the Ark of Taste of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity.


These actions that are mentioned as strategies of adding value are a fundamental strategy for the preservation of genetic resources. The acquired knowledge allows maintaining the landrace in on-farm conservation with adequate traceability.

Evidence has shown that the implementation of measures for the conservation, management and enhancement of ‘Tarreste’ landrace on-farm is very important. It is also important to contribute to the maintenance of the genetic variability of this landrace. Therefore, it is advisable to continue the design of agro-environmental policies to promote the production and commercialization of landraces.

Uncertain. To have access to the resource ‘Cooperativa Agrícola de Arcos de Valdevez e Ponte da Barca’ should be contacted:

Rua Soares Pereira, 26

4974-010 Arcos de Valdevez

Tel: (+351) 258 510 200 | (+351) 258 510 201

Email: coopercosbarca@mail.telepac.pt

Website: http://www.cooparcosbarca.com

BPGV, INIAV

Case study provided by Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária (INIAV), Portugal.

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