This uniquely coloured mottled bean is almost unknown outside the Madonie mountain area. It is two-toned and at times may be ivory in colour with pinkish and orange spots, or ivory with dark-purple, almost black spots.
It's a herbaceous annual plant with a summer-autumn production cycle. Its flower is white and three-leaf leaves are dark green. The two cultivars that are cultivated are the Badda Bianca and the Badda Nera or Munachedda.
Sowing at the higher altitudes of Polizzi (called muntagna) starts in June, traditionally the day celebrating St. Anthony of Padua. However sowing at the lower altitudes in the Marina district begins later, towards the second half of July, when the summer heat begins to subside.
Flowering and setting take place in the mountains towards the middle of August and in the hills sometime in mid-September.
As the Badda bean is a vine-like cultivar, it requires props to grow in height. The plants climb around four sticks positioned in the shape of a small hut: u'pagliaru. Other support structures such as poles, nets, wires, etc. are not allowed.
The green pods are harvested after about 60 days and depending on the altitude, can be harvested through November. However, beans intended to be dried are picked in October and November, before the pods open and the seed falls. Naturally they are picked by hand and the pods are later also shelled by hand.
The dried product is then subjected to low-temperature treatments: Cold therapy is applied to limit the presence of the bean weevil.