The pretzel bean, with the botanical name Vigna unguiculata, is an ancient variety native to Lancaster County (Pennsylvania), cultivated and maintained by the Amish and Mennonites for many generations. This quirky little bean rolls up so well when ripe that it looks like a real pretzel, hence its name.
The pretzel bean: a bean with a surprising shape
Indeed, the pods of this plant are of a completely surprising shape and are reminiscent of the famous Alsatian pretzels. The young pods can be picked and eaten like classic beans, they have a delicious flavor that some even call aromatic. It is also possible to let them fully develop in order to use them for decoration.
Belonging to the Fabaceae family like peas, soybeans, or lentils, the pretzel bean is an easy-to-grow plant. In addition, unlike standard beans, this variety has a great capacity to withstand drought and poor soils. Sowing is easy and germination fast.