Gigantes





I’d like to tell you now about a cheap, vegetarian meal which doesn’t skimp on taste or filling up an empty belly: gigantes

Gigantes are large white beans. This particular type of legume is rare outside of
Greece and should not be confused with large beans you can buy in western supermarkets (e.g. lima beans). Gigantes beans are only cultivated in three regions of the world – one of them is the north of Greece, just to the east of Thessaloniki. The official Greek name for the bean is fasolia gigantes.

The soft, boiled gigantes you can order in Cretan restaurants come in a rich tomato sauce with a lot of oil, sometimes with carrots, garlic and a little sugar added. You can dunk bread in the sauce for extra flavour.

Gigantes are often the cheapest main dish in a Cretan restaurant. A filling portion can be had for less than €5. Not bad for a healthy, delicious and cheap dish.

If you try to prepare gigantes at home buy dried beans rather than tinned. Dried beans taste much better even if it takes an age to cook them until they are soft enough.

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