Beetle beans | © Thermen- & Vulkanland Steiermark | Bernhard Bergmann Beetle beans | © Thermen- & Vulkanland Steiermark | Bernhard Bergmann
Bean appetit!

Styrian scarlet runner bean P.D.O.

Attractive, wholesome, and unmistakeable: the Styrian scarlet runner bean, an old variety of pulse, is violet-black, sometimes brown, in colour.

It is as emblematic of Styria as pumpkin seed oil – which, out of all the oils, suits it the best. Eating these beans as a salad, however, is only the start of what you can do with them. These runner beans can be used in all kinds of dishes, from soups to mains and even desserts. A delicacy you must try! 

Runner beans are an appealing, nutritious, and inimitable piece of Styria. And lots of products and services draw inspiration from them. Purple, violet or light brown in colour, and flecked with black pigments, scarlet runner beans look great and every one is different.

Runner beans are best accentuated by seed oil – Styrian pumpkin seed oil P.G.I., to be precise – as everyone has worked out. Locals have of course known this all along, and they also know that adding onions, salt and apple vinegar makes the perfect marinade.

Experience the variety

Ever tried runner bean spread, jam, soup, purée, chocolate, mousse or ice cream? There are many inventive ways to enjoy runner beans. Small producers in particular have come up with some authentic delicacies.

Käferbohnen Kuchen Himbeeren Sommer Kulinarik
Beetle bean slice with raspberries | © Thermen- & Vulkanland Steiermark | Lena Fuchs
Käferbohnen Salat Kernöl Steiermark
Beetle bean salad with seed oil | © Thermen- & Vulkanland Steiermark | Pixelmaker
Käferbohnen Torte Kulinarik Michaela Summer
Beetle bean cake | © Thermen- & Vulkanland Steiermark | Käferbohnenkabinett Michaela Summer
Beetle beans from Styria | Pixelmaker | © Steiermark Tourismus_pixelmaker.at

Styrian scarlet runner bean salad

Ingredients: (for two persons)

  • 150 g scarlet runner beans
  • Apple vinegar
  • 1/2 onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • Styrian pumpkin seed oil

Soften the raw runner beans in cold water for a few hours, ideally overnight; remove and dispose of any that float. Boil the beans in fresh water and leave to simmer on a low heat for around two hours, until soft.  Peel and finely dice the onion. Put the beans and onion into a bowl, and mix well. Stir the salt, pepper, vinegar and seed oil into a marinade and then pour over the beans, ideally when the beans are still warm. Mix everything together well. Serve with rye bread or as a side.

Did you know that...

  • Runner beans can also be discovered by bike? Six round cycling tours head out in search of these little gems. Tours vary from 21.8 km to 62.4 km in length, but they all start off in Sankt Ruprecht an der Raab in East Styria. On the way they pass apple plantations and vineyards, and also take in the Feistritzklamm gorge and the Stubenbergsee (lake).
  • 95 per cent of Austrian scarlet runner beans are harvested in Styria? Especially in Southeast Styria, where some 30 small farmers have specialised in growing scarlet runner beans.
  • Steirerkraft also sells them in tins? Ready to eat, vegetarian, no flavour enhancers or preservatives: scarlet runner bean soup straight from the tin.
  • Scarlet runner beans have become a popular designer object and souvenir thanks to their distinctive look and status as a slice of Styrian identity?  
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