Pussac punay beans are actually about twenty similar Andean heritage beans that share a growth cycle, rather than a single variety. Because of this, their appearance can vary from bean to bean, from red with white speckles to flat brown. They have a firm texture when cooked and excellent flavor.
These pussac punay beans are grown high in the Andes, in remote Huancalavilca, east of Lima. The altitude in this area ranges from 7,000 to 10,000 feet. Traditionally pussac punay beans are planted symbiotically with corn. The corn stalks act as a beanpole for the beans.
These beans are grown by small farmers practicing organic methods, each working 1000 to 4000 meters of land. Because of the remoteness of the region, these farmers have typically been forced to sell at below market rates to intermediaries who transport the beans to the outside world. These beans are purchased from them through a fair price initiative.
“Pussac punay” means “sleeping eight” in Quechua (the local native language), referring to the fact that all these beans grow eight to a pod.
These beans were a SOFI award silver finalist.