The first aspect that distinguishes these from allother lentils is where they grow: the Castelluccio plateau, situated at an altitude of 1500 metres – nearly 5000 feet – above sea level. Castelluccio lentils are unique because they are exceptionally hardy and can face droughts as well as long cold winters. As a result, the pea weevil (a type of beetle that is about 4 mm long) cannot attack and destroy cultivated plots. This explains why farmers do not need to use pesticides or herbicides to grow these lentils, making them unique worldwide. Castelluccio lentils are famed for their high nutritional value, as they are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals and fibres, and are virtually fat-free.
The Lenticchia di Castelluccio di Norcia Cooperative was set up to unite local landowners who cultivate the crop that characterizes the Castelluccio plateau: lentils.