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SpaghettiWestern

Question about dried bean varieties

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I make a pot of beans once a week. Usually white beans, Great Northern (heritage) or Navy (generic). I can't tell much difference; they are delicious and adapt well to flavorings, 30 minutes or less in the pressure cooker. To keep the color light or beige, I often use a can of yellow tomatoes rather than red.

 

I have been looking for the crop of 2014 white beans but of course it is too soon, as they are being harvested right now. I called a major broker in Michigan and Ontario, Thompson Beans, to see when the current crop would be available. The answer is December, and the best before date will be December 2017 when this package is on the shelves. The beans should be fresh and cook well, after a long, slow 2014 growing season.  They will be sold as Thompson White Pea Beans, or Our Compliments beans.

 

Meantime the Loblaw group has PC Great Northern Heritage, at $2.80 / lb.

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I just put two pots of RG beans into the oven to cook (Russ Parson's method) - Good Mother Stallard and Ayocote Blanco.  It's been so hot lately, I couldn't bear to turn on the oven so I'm enjoying the bean-y fragrance that's starting to waft through the kitchen on this delightfully cool morning.

What I like to have in my pantry at all times are Midnight Black, Goat's Eye or Good Mother Stallard, Yellow Indian Woman, White Tepary and a medium-sized white bean like Alubia Blanca de San Jose Iturbide (Marrow used to be my fave but these are just as good and it cracks me up that a little bean has such a long name!) and Garbanzos.  Christmas Limas are really special in the salad with quinoa, beets and avocado from the RG Heirloom Beans cookbook but that's the only recipe I love them in so they make a regular appearance but are not staples like the others.

I was inspired by Andie to pull up my previous Rancho Gordo orders, dating back to 2005.  I used to travel to SF often for work and picked up other varieties, some that I never saw listed on the website, at the Ferry Plaza market but I didn't keep a record of those.   I bolded those I've ordered multiple times and underlined my staples.

Marrow Bean - no longer available from RG
Cellini Runner Bean    
Vallarta Bean
Tepary Bean (White)                          
Black Valentine Bean                        
Ojo de Cabra Bean (Goat's Eye)
Yellow Indian Woman Bean

Scarlet Runner Bean

Good Mother Stallard
Wren's Egg Bean
Ojo de Tigre Bean (Tiger's Eye)
Flageolet Bean

Nightfall (Black) Bean
Tepary Bean (Brown)
Santa Maria Pinquito Bean
Rio Zape Bean
Flor de Junio
Borlotti
Classic Garbanzo Beans

Pebbles Bean
Midnight Black Bean
Cranberry Bean- Cargamanto
Red Nightfall Bean
Christmas Lima Bean
Rice Bean
Rio Zape Bean
Mayacoba Bean
Lila Beans
Flor de Junio: Silvia 2009
Sangre de Toro Bean
Ayocote Morado Beans (Purple Runners)
Runner Cannellini Bean
Baby Lima Beans
Zarco Beans
Alubia Criollo (White Runner) Beans
Alubia Blanca de San Jose Iturbide
Ayocote Blanco (White Runner) Beans

I usually order at least 10 lbs at a time to justify the shippping cost. 

 

Garbanzos are pantry staples and I'll order garbanzos from RG but also pick them up elsewhere.  I agree with patrickamory they were not relevatory, at least in my hands.

 

edited to note that the beans are listed in the order that I first purchased them, not of preference or anything else


Edited by blue_dolphin (log)
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Thanks for that list, blue_dolphin. I'm sorry to see that the marrow beans are no longer available, but glad to see white tepary beans on the list. So far I've been buying white and brown tepary beans during trips through southern Arizona from a Tohono O'Odham source, but it's good to know of a mail order option.

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I posted about these beans earlier and today I was given a bunch to grow for myself.  These were found in an old Apache pot, approximately dated 300 years ago based on design. Very excited for next year's growing season.

oldbeans.jpg

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Rob, that purple color is amazing. Do they stay this color after cooking?

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don't know yet.  I'll let you know next year

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A little research suggests that they are Runner: Enorma beans. Now I'll want to look into the history of that varietal to see what's known.

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Consultation with Steve Sando now has those beans as some variation of Cranberry...no, runner...no...I'm sending him some so he can sort this out.  He said he's never seen anything like them.

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Very beautiful. I hope I look that good when I'm 300. Really, how did they get into a 300 year old pot?

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Because of the patterning, they look something like the Hopi Purple String bean which can vary in color from a gray/tan to almost purple but always with the stripes and specks of a darker color.

 

There is a photo of variations here

 

I think the Hopi bean is related to the Rio Zape - which can also vary in color and I think is sometimes called Amethyst bean. 

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Not so uncommon in these parts.

Very beautiful. I hope I look that good when I'm 300. Really, how did they get into a 300 year old pot?

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Some revised opinions about Xoxoc Project beans, links to the Dinner thread.

 

I revisited the negro de arbol with a different prep and cooked them for longer. I don't think these will ever be my favorite bean, but I was able to get them a bit creamier.

 

The Ayocote Negro on the other hand… wow. This Epicurious prep with bacon and coffee was revelatory. I added roasted peeled Hatch chiles too. Took a full 2 1/2 hours to get nice and soft, even after an overnight soak (perhaps because I added the coffee too early… acidic), but these are just an explosion of meaty flavor. I used a pinch of Costa Rica btw rather than the espresso powder. Recommended!

 

beans_cropped.jpg

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Yay!  I'm so glad you like the Ayocote.  Sooooooo creamy.  Makes me want some now.

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Haven't had the Ayocote, but they sound great. How do they compare to the black valentines?

Patrick, it never occurred to me to add coffee in a dry form. I usually add a half a cup (or more) of rich brewed coffee about 45 min or an hour before the beans are done; it's a good way to add liquid if your beans are getting too thick. I did just get some powdered espresso from the Spice House, so I might try experimenting with that.

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Hi Katie, hmm, pretty different from the Black Valentine, which I experienced as a classic smaller black bean in the Cuban arroz con frijoles negros style… if I remember correctly, it's been a while!

 

The Ayocotes are much bigger and meatier, like scarlet runners or even like white cannellinis, though obviously different from each in color and I think in flavor too. Highly recommended.

 

If you do go for the coffee, wait a while to add it as the epicurious recipe suggests… I suspect the early addition of such an acidic ingredient may have extended the cooking time for the beans. I still think they need a lot of time though. In the end, I didn't cook it much longer than that recipe recommended.

 

Edit: sorry, I see you're already used to adding coffee - and know to wait a while before adding it unlike me! Very tasty.


Edited by patrickamory (log)

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I know nothing, especially about acid and beans, so really it is strictly a coincidence that I add my coffee late in the game; I do it because the liquid level gets too low and I have no more stock on hand to add. But now that I do know I will not change my routine!

Now that I have this nice espresso powder on hand, I'm thinking that if I use that instead of brewed coffee I should make it into some kind of slurry or something rather than just toss the powder into the pot.

I guess if acid is the culprit in beans cooking more slowly, if you add tomatoes you should also add them later on, no?

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I guess if acid is the culprit in beans cooking more slowly, if you add tomatoes you should also add them later on, no?

That's my understanding.

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I had some Moro and some Rebosero beans from RG - about a cup of each and mixed them together (they are related) and cooked them in the pressure cooker  (they were not "fresh" by any means) for longer than "normal" and they turned out very good.  Quite a "meaty" flavor, intact tender skins but creamy interior. 

The next batch will be some Appaloosa beans that have been in the container for a year and need to be cooked very soon.   

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A couple of days ago I again cooked a combination of two types of beans - in the pressure cooker (automatic electric).

 

This "medley" was Vaquero and Flagolet - about 2/3 cup of each. 

 

Beans 1 10:24:14.JPG

Beans 2 10:24:14.JPG

 

As these have been around for a while, the cooking time is much longer than normal

Beans 1 10:24:14 PC.JPG

 

 

Beans 3 10:24:14.JPG

After cooking have added large chunks of onion and reset timer for 10 minutes

Beans 4 10:24:14.JPG

Served...

Beans 5 10:24:14.JPG

 

Delicious and 100% vegetarian - some guava-smoked salt added to give a hint of smokiness...

 

These had an exceptional "meaty" flavor.


Edited by andiesenji (log)
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Andie, that looks amazing.

More and more, I am experimenting with combining two (or more) types of beans.  This combo was inspired.

I am aiming to combine some varieties that break down easily (soup type) with those that hold their shape so I can have a thick beany broth that contains whole beans that have a creamy interior but a secure skin.

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Just placed an RG order:

 

Royal Corona *

Flageolets *

Yellow Indian Woman *

Tepary (White) *

Scarlet Runner

 

* new for me

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For the past two years I have been growing Coco Noir beans (seed from Pinetree Gardens in Maine) - they are easily the best black beans and probably the best beans I have ever had. I dry them - I've not tried them fresh. This year I also grew Jacob's Cattle beans - very good but not better than the coco noir. Has anyone else tried these? I have never seen them for sale - only the seed

 

Andie's Jamaican rice and beans is very like something my grandmother made. My paternal grandparents were both born and raised in Jamaica, part of the small Sephardic Jewish population. They came to NY as adults. She used black eyed peas for the beans and did not add coconut milk but otherwise it is the same. My mother, all my siblings and myself all learned it. It had now moved on another two generations - and as far as I know the recipe has never been written down.

Elaina

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Hi everyone.  I am new here, and I eat a lot of beans.  [i eat a lot of cornbread, too, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through this thread].

 

I agree with the Good Mother Stallard love, but I am wondering if I'm the only person who finds them really very similar to a fat red bean that Colombians eat, the Bola Roja.  (When I say "really very similar," I really mean, "I'm not sure I see the difference").

 

I have no idea whether the bola rojas that I've consumed were "heirloom"  -- although it's unlikely since at least once the brand on my bola roja bag was good ole' Goya.  

 

Another Colombian bean that reminds me of the Good Mother Stallard is called "Cargamanto" on the Colombian package.  It looks like a Bola Roja, but with some cranberry-bean-looking coloring mottling across the surface.  

 

Also, for those that worry that mass-produced beans are never fresh enough, I just wanted to note that if you shop in the regular store in heavy bean-eating communities (like Latino communities, for example), the commercial beans will be quite fresh.  When I first moved to a Latino neighborhood eight years ago, the Goya beans were so fresh that they would be done half an hour before the meat stock was done; I started making the stock separately so I wouldn't end up with bean mush every time.  I have never had to deal with a chalky bean once I started buying them in the neighborhoods of ethnicities that eat them regularly.  

 

It's of course true that you aren't going to get the subtlety or depth of flavor with mass-produced varieties that you will with, say, Rancho Gordo [Cayuga Organics, on the other hand . . . I honestly don't get why people pay for those beans at all, ever], but I think it's valuable to remember that one can find comparatively fresh beans at regular prices in places where the consumers are accustomed to them.  This is kind of obvious but I wanted to repeat it.


Edited by SLB (log)
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