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Portuguese Bean

Portuguese bean refers to the variety of bean most commonly known as ‘Lupin bean or ‘lupini bean,’ which is primarily cultivated in almost all the Mediterranean countries and their former colonies with Portugal being one of them. Portuguese have given the name ‘tremecos’ to these lupini beans that are yellow colored legumes, most commonly eaten as pickled foods.

However, other beans like pinto beans, navy bean, red kidney beans and various green beans are also extensively grown in Portugal.

History of Lupin Bean

These legumes were primarily cultivated by the Romans and the cultivation was spread across the entire Roman Empire. Along with time, the lupin beans began to be cultivated in the Mediterranean regions, most commonly in Portugal, Egypt, Brazil and Argentina.

There are several names given to the Lupin beans, as in Turkey it is called ‘tirmis’ while it is known as ‘altramuz’ in Spain.

Culinary Uses of Portuguese Beans

Lupin bean is a popular snack food that is generally soaked in brine and sold as pickle. It is generally eaten whole after its skin is rubbed off with hands. However, lupin bean with skin is also a healthy option.

The brine soaked beans are often flavored with olive oil and chopped garlic to make a hearty snack dish.

Other beans are also dotingly added in soups, salads, pilafs and even in curry dishes. Some of the beans among all the varieties require overnight soaking, whereas some beans can readily be used without prior soaking and cooking.

Portuguese Bean Recipes

  • Feijao a Portuguesa – It is a simple Portuguese bean stew comprising of navy beans, bacon, tomato paste and Portuguese sausages. Seasoning is done with salt, pepper, paprika and garlic.
  • Lupin beans with garlic – Brined lupin beans seasoned with olive oil and garlic is considered the ideal snack.

Methods of Cooking Portuguese Beans

  • Boiling – Portuguese cuisine includes various bean soup dishes, therefore, boiling is the most acceptable method used to soften the soaked or un-soaked beans for soups.
  • Pickling – Primarily, lupin beans are used for this purpose as they become more palatable once soaked in salt brine.


Salted lupini beans are commonly served as munchies with beer and are known to be healthier than salted peanuts.