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Canned Beans vs Dry Beans


awbrig
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Well, obviously because they're good for the heart.

But to sum up, Awbrig, use canned beans.  Be carefull with the cooking time.  And if anyone at dinner says, "Hey, you lazy bastard, these aren't fresh beans," I'll eat my hat.

DStone,

You were the first to risk your reputation as a serious eGulleteer by taking the side of the canned beans. I must commend you for taking that risk.

Also, I am sorry for not acknowledging you in that earlier post where I mentioned our ever so wonderful Jinmyo and not you.

I hope you did not feel like chopped liver. But if you did, I can tell you, I am one big fan of chopped liver and chopped onions on toast.

It is one of the greatest dishes in my book.

But again, you were very bold to support canned beans.. and I did not forget that.:smile:

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Oh, to think what this thread could have bean.

Seriously, ever since I was a child, I loved to eat chick peas right out of the can.  I pile them on salads, toss them in pasta, add them to soups.  I haven't ever had a great need to explore the world of dried chick peas.  If I were to eat those chick peas out of a can (after a thorough rinsing, of course), would I discern a difference between a properly prepared dry chick pea?

The canned ones are smoother in texture.

Dried ones that are cooked to a similar softness are drier in their center and so sandy almost, as Nina succinctly pointed out earlier on.

But it is what you do after this point that makes their difference totally fuzzy and disappear.

And a good chef knows what to do and how and can fool even the most seasoned of all tasters into not being able to tell after this point. And that is where dry and canned become interchangeable.

When I make salads, I can hardly ever use canned chickpeas for I want them just that consistency where they are gritty.

I, in fact, use dried ones for most all my cooking, but I also realize I can fool anyone with any arrogance and ego, into not being able to tell me the difference between the two after they have been cooked in a sauce beyond this one point.

It would do you good to cook dried chickpeas and taste the difference. Maybe you are not like me, and you will not even want this difference. But if you do like that drier gritty taste, you will want to cook the chickpeas from dry ones.

Maybe you will be inspired to cook them from dry all the time. But at least you would have made the taste test.

I use dry beans for most of my cooking for I have the luxury of time, and I also have many reliable pressure cookers that can help me make the most of BAD quality American Supermarket and other store bought beans when they are old and stubborn. Nothing worse than bad store bought beans that are old. They are MUCH worse than canned ones. And it is that which you will find for the most part. Unless you are lucky to live in NYC and have great stores near you. There are other cities where you find great assortment, but it is great retail traffic for dry beans that makes them better.

But there are times, when I am cooking in other parts of this great country, when I can find only old and dry beans (and you cannot tell this just by looking at a bean), and at these times, I find it easy to rely on canned beans for a greater end result. And in these times and cities, I thank America for giving us canned beans. They all of a sudden become very appealing. And after I play with them, I have friends who cannot tell any difference. And if I do not tell them, they write me thank you notes for going through all the effort of preparing beans from scratch. :shock::rolleyes::biggrin:

Thank God, for grandmas and good recipes. And of course, America for canned beans that can be more reliable in their freshness than its dried goods.

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Uh... :unsure:

St. Mario and St. Jacques have both recommended tinned beans.

I do think that dried beans are best for use in cassoulet and other long, slow-cooked dishes in terms of texture.

I've never seen any tinned with sugar. :blink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I've never seen any tinned with sugar. :blink:

Me neither, Jinmyo. Where should we be shopping instead?

I guess sugar would be no fun for you.. but you know how I love sugar.. maybe I can drink the canned jus. :shock: Nah... I would not...

But I do enjoy using canned beans ever so often when I am in a grind. And I find them perfectly fine. :smile:

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My god aren't we lucky. I mean, aren't we?

Just think about it.

In a world where a thousand children will die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of arguing about whether or not canned beans are "good enough" for us.

Amazing.

Thank your lucky stars as you drift off to sleep.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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My god aren't we lucky.  I mean, aren't we? 

Just think about it.

In a world where a thousand children will die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of arguing about whether or not canned beans are "good enough" for us.

Amazing.

Thank your lucky stars as you drift off to sleep.

In a world where a thousand children die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of spending our time *here* participating in a community of essentially likeminded people from all over the world and enjoying ourselves immensely. :smile:

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My god aren't we lucky.  I mean, aren't we?  

Just think about it.

In a world where a thousand children will die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of arguing about whether or not canned beans are "good enough" for us.

Amazing.

Thank your lucky stars as you drift off to sleep.

In a world where a thousand children die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of spending our time *here* participating in a community of essentially likeminded people from all over the world and enjoying ourselves immensely. :smile:

You are right, Stefany. We are really, really lucky. In very many ways.

And to continue the analogy -- In a world where there are lonely people that will go to sleep tonight having not exchanged a single conversational word with another human soul today, not only are we lucky enough to be able to spend our time here, but I for one, have made a lot of very good friends on eGullet as well.

And besides all that, I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding today - so I'm in a really happy and grateful mood tonight.

The stars at night are big and bright.... oh well, you know the rest.

:rolleyes:

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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My god aren't we lucky.  I mean, aren't we?  

Just think about it.

In a world where a thousand children will die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of arguing about whether or not canned beans are "good enough" for us.

Amazing.

Thank your lucky stars as you drift off to sleep.

In a world where a thousand children die tonight from hunger and starvation, we have the luxury of spending our time *here* participating in a community of essentially likeminded people from all over the world and enjoying ourselves immensely. :smile:

You are right, Stefany. We are really, really lucky. In very many ways.

And to continue the analogy -- In a world where there are lonely people that will go to sleep tonight having not exchanged a single conversational word with another human soul today, not only are we lucky enough to be able to spend our time here, but I for one, have made some very good friends on eGullet as well.

And besides all that, I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding today - so I'm in a really happy and grateful mood tonight.

The stars at night are big and bright.... oh well, you know the rest.

:rolleyes:

I loved that movie. I am glad you saw it.

And yes you are soooo very right....

Ed said it best when he said it should take no more than 2 minutes to worry about canned vs. dry beans... it hardly matters, the difference between them. We are lucky to have them.

When I sleep later, your thought will make me even more thankful. And think of how lucky I truly am.

Thanks for putting it all in such clear perspective.

And also, yes, we are all lucky to have eGullet and the coterie of like minded friends we have found.

We are a family and this thread attests to just that. Who else would worry about such trivial differences but a happy family.

And I learn each day, something important and amazing at eGullet. Tonight, it is about my having great friends and food to eat. :smile:

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i'll admit i'm wayyyyyyyyy too lazy to read all those posts, however if i'm cooking at home for friends i have no problem using a good quality canned bean and giving 'em a rinse in cold water.

but having said that.....if i'm going to a restaurant and paying good money, i want the chef to be cooking those beans from scratch. that's called integrity!

as for the differences between the two, chalk it up (generally speaking) as neglegible.

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I've been making dried beans several times a month (sometimes several times a week) for over 30 years.  I love cooking pork in with the beans (ham hocks, andouille sausage, leftover ham picked off the bone, salt pork); long, slow cooking with the flavor and fat from the pork seems to plump the beans, and the thickening of the pork-flavored liquid from the breakdown of the beans would seem to me impossible to achieve with canned beans which are already cooked.  Even making beans without meat, such as Mexican black beans cooked with only a head of garlic and some herbs, it seems as if the delicious thick broth and melting of the garlic into the beans and broth would also be impossible with canned beans.  I sometimes make Egyptian fava beans (the small, round brown ones) that are cooked without meat, and they're so much better made from the dried ones than from doctoring the canned ones.  I also like cooking beans in glazed earthenware pots, which give the beans a very silky texture.

There are some farmers in the U.S., such as Phipps Farm, who grow all sorts of unusual (and often organic) beans that have their own distinctive tastes that would not be available canned.

Once you get the pot of beans started, there's so little to do, other than let them cook, that I can't see the whole convenience issue as really being a factor.

I'm with Toby.

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Here's how I actually feel about the whole thing.

Most things in life, I believe, have a proper time and place. And the lowly canned bean is no exception. At any given time, I have at least four or five (or more) different types of canned beans sitting in my pantry. And for some things they work just fine with no loss of flavor/texture/quality.

But on the other hand, there are few things in cooking that give me quite the same warm, homey "God's in his heaven and I'm in the kitchen and all's right with the world" feeling as a big pot of aromatic beans simmering and bubbling away on the back burner. Not only are they delicious, they seem so rustic, so basic, so "from the earth" that they somehow make me feel connected to all of the human souls that have relied on them for sustenance.

All things to their place, I believe.

And canned beans have a very welcome place on my table.

But fresh-cooked have a special place in my heart.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Here's how I actually feel about the whole thing.

Most things in life, I believe, have a proper time and place.  And the lowly canned bean is no exception.  At any given time, I have at least four or five (or more) different types of canned beans sitting in my pantry.  And for some things they work just fine with no loss of flavor/texture/quality.

But on the other hand, there are few things in cooking that give me quite the same warm, homey "God's in his heaven and I'm in the kitchen and all's right with the world" feeling as a big pot of aromatic beans simmering and bubbling away on the back burner.  Not only are they delicious, they seem so rustic, so basic, so "from the earth" that they somehow make me feel connected to all of the human souls that have relied on them for sustenance.

All things to their place, I believe.

And canned beans have a very welcome place on my table.

But fresh-cooked have a special place in my heart.

Spoken like a true chef, cook and human being.

Thanks Jaymes for taking time to share how you really feel.

You are brilliant in your words above. Your humanity and your connection to what is real is transparent and infectious. I am amazed. If words could bring tears to ones eyes, yours did. Really, thanks. I wish more people could have your way with words, understand life as plainly and beautifully as you do, and then share it in words. Thanks. :smile:

I always say cooking, tasting and testing has nothing to do with the heart. They are of and from the heart and connected to it only when we are removed from fluff and hype. Otherwise, they are no less mediocre than anything else.

Real cooking and cooking done with love, has everything to do with the heart and soul. Food is one of the few pleasures of life that has great power to change and affect. Food also has shown us how easily it can divide. It is a shame to let something as glorious and humble as food divide us when it could easily do the opposite. What a shame we allow it to lose its innocence because of our own insecurities.

You have shared the best qualities of food in your post. Thanks! :smile:

No wonder you are not only a great cook and chef, but also a writer and a celebrated daughter (and of course an inspiring and much loved mother).

Keep sharing your earthly and inspiring wisdom, and we shall have plenty of room for both canned and dry beans in our pantries. And something for both our tables and our hearts.

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Suvir -

Golly, thanks. :blush:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Jim how long do you bake them for?

What beans do you use most often?

Suvir,

How long depends on how fresh the beans are...older beans take longer. I usually check them after an hour or two, adda little water if they seem low, and check again every so often until they're done. Sometimes it only takes a couple of hours, sometimes a lot longer. If you blow on the beans in the spoon and the skins start to peel back, they're done.

I like small white beans a lot (they are similar to zolfini beans, a hard-to-find tuscan white bean), but also cook borlotti (aka cranberry) beans and even pinto beans like this.

But I also use canned...just yesterday I made a sort of minestone with mostly vegetables and a couple of cans of white beans. I still prefer the dried beans for eating plain.

Jim

ps...haven't gotten back to making any marmalade yet

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I still prefer the dried beans for eating plain.

Jim

ps...haven't gotten back to making any marmalade yet

Same way I feel, Jim.

I use dry beans for I have them in my pantry. And I have them from India, from Indian stores and from the Middle East. Fresher than what I can find in stores here, since friends and family bring them when visiting.

But if I have to have plain or very mildly spiced foods (not often the case), I would never use canned beans.. for dry cooked are far superior at that point.

But if I were making something cooked slowly and with acid and spices, I would not care if someone did not have dry beans. I would be just as happy with canned.

When you make the marmalade, let me know... Looking forward to hearing about your experience. I shall find some meyer lemons that are good, and will can some into marmalade soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...
I miss those days when I would eat beans that had been cooked all night, only on the very spent (almost not hot) flames of what was left from cooking at night in the Tandoor in the jungles of Madhya Pradesh.  **Will I live to see them again?**  What is happening to the jungles of Bandhavgarh?  

... (terracotta pots, baked so that they can take heat without needing a glaze.  Glazed pots were for those **city slickers** that had lost their soul after **being raped** and bought over by the firangees, **the British invaders in the case of India**) ...

**When can I get those beans again?**  Dry or canned... can someone create those nights in Bandhavgarh ...

I don't mean to be simplistic, but maybe you might see those beans again if you visited the jungles again. Of course, you might have to be aided by a focus on devout thoughts of the differences between glazed pots and terracotta ones.

Edited by cabrales (log)
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But on the other hand, there are few things in cooking that give me quite the same warm, homey "God's in his heaven and I'm in the kitchen and all's right with the world" feeling as a big pot of aromatic beans simmering and bubbling away on the back burner.  Not only are they delicious, they seem so rustic, so basic, so "from the earth" that they somehow make me feel connected to all of the human souls that have relied on them for sustenance.

All things to their place, I believe.

I agree, and very elegantly and eloquently expressed. Heck, I feel that disparity even if I defrost some Homemade chicken soup, or make the same soup that day. While the end product is the same, there is something psychological, "from the earth and hands" that comes into play.

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Most things in life, I believe, have a proper time and place.  And the lowly canned bean is no exception.  At any given time, I have at least four or five (or more) different types of canned beans sitting in my pantry.  And for some things they work just fine with no loss of flavor/texture/quality.

But on the other hand, there are few things in cooking that give me quite the same warm, homey "God's in his heaven and I'm in the kitchen and all's right with the world" feeling as a big pot of aromatic beans simmering and bubbling away on the back burner.  Not only are they delicious, they seem so rustic, so basic, so "from the earth" that they somehow make me feel connected to all of the human souls that have relied on them for sustenance.

jaymes, as usual.

i keep a few cans of beans [and i mostly buy organic, brands like westbrae] in the pantry for making quick hummus [which i did today] for tossing into a salad or stirring quickly into a simple pasta dish. but cooking dried beans simply feels better. if i were going to make black bean soup or a pot of black-eyed peas for New Year's Day, of course i'd start with dried. i hate canned baked beans. i refuse to eat them--i don't care what you do to them--add bacon, molasses, whatever, they are mushy and nasty and taste like tin. i also agree with nina about chickpeas. i'll enter the contest for chickpeas. it must be a chemical reaction because the difference between a soaked and cooked chickpea and a canned one is so obvious.

personally, i think beans are one of the world's greatest foods, nevermind the fact that they keep X people alive. anyone who loves them and wants to get more of them into your diet, may i recommenbd a great little book i got for xmas two years ago:

The Instant Bean by Sally and Martin Stone.

the first 41 pages are devoted to a discussion of the different types of beans, how to cook ANY type of dried bean, how to pressure cook, the merits of canned beans, etc.

and a slew of great and some very easy recipes.

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Even though I have a pot of beans in the oven right now, and I think that cooking dried beans makes the very best beans...I still love to eat lowly pork'n'beans right out of the can (curiously, the best tasting canned pork'n'beans are the vegetarian variety, which obviously lack any pork).

In my misbegotten youth, when I would hang out with biologists in the Oregon desert, one of our standard car-camping meals was beans and 'dines (as in sardines)....quick, tasty, and nutritous (not that we cared, but it gave us more time for drinking).

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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I hate canned baked beans.  i refuse to eat them--i don't care what you do to them--add bacon, molasses, whatever, they are mushy and nasty and taste like tin.

Agree with you totally.

Nothing tastes worse than canned baked beans, sorry I take it back, paatra (an Indian snack of rolled up colocasia leaves cooked with spices and cut into slices) tastes just as bad.

I loved baked beans as a child, my aunt made the best.. and now she says she cannot find those dry white beans that she used in her recipe. She looked all over India for them.. no luck.. she even looked in several cities in the US.. and no luck... she cannot remember the name of the beans she used to use.. and the store she bought them from in Delhi closed.

So, now I have memories of my favorit baked beans.. and no one to cook them.. not even my aunt.

And nothing I have tasted... canned or prepared from dried beans has ever come close.

But canned are simply horrible. While I do not taste tin.. I certainly taste horrible when I have tried even a very small bite.

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True Boston baked beans are a thing of beauty. Barbeque baked beans are a close second, especially the ones at Finks, with the smoked pork bits in them.

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Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

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I don't mean to be simplistic, but maybe you might see those beans again if you visited the jungles again. Of course, you might have to be aided by a focus on devout thoughts of the differences between glazed pots and terracotta ones.

I understand what you say.

In fact, Cabrales, if I were wanting to be fastidious or tedious, I would never relive those experiences, but I am happy enjoying new ones and different ones.

The beans cooked in Bandhavgarh will never be the same... But they will be different and certainly they may leave me with a unique and lasting impression.

And I know I will be back, if not for the beans, most certainly to be with those friends that host their friends and family more graciously than anyone I have known across continents.

But my eyes or my tongue will never be glazed to forget the magic of the beans from the experiences, nor shall they be deprived of lives beauty to share new magical moments each breath we take.

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Now I'm confused, Suvir: you've come down adamantly FOR canned beans and AGAINST them in this thread, as well as saying we should ask chefs what to do, AND writing "Chefs hardly know better than the rest of us".

:blink:

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