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Of beans and birthdays

September 2, 2011
San Fanciscano Beans tumbling out a a package

striped and spotted birthday beans

Siblings can be the most important people in a person’s life.  Particularly when that sibling knows exactly what to get you for your birthday.  I would just like to thanks my sister, Barbara, for the fabulous Rancho Gordo sampler she gave me for my birthday.  You are wonderful.  (Also, thanks for the help driving from Ikea with that enormous couch that didn’t quite fit in the truck . . . . I owe you.)

Pile of San Franciscano Beans

Will they retain their tiger stripes in cooking?

This sampler of note is the Rancho Gordo-Xoxoc Project Sampler.  The project helps small farmers in Mexico grow heirloom beans with traditional methods.  The sampler contains four types of beans: San Franciscano, Lila, Moro, and Rebosero.  The beans themselves are delightfully colored–bruised lilac, vivid maroon with black stripes, deep brick red, pebbled gray and bark brown (I’ve focused on San Franciscano this time; more pictures will follow).  Will the taste stand up to the promise of their flowery descriptions Rancho Gordo publishes?

packaged beans, unopened

Open me!

Despite a Cook’s Illustrated review that declared their straight up black beans hit or miss, I have every confidence that these will be life altering beans.  They just look that good.

San Franciscano beans spilling out

Bean cooking and recipe card testing (because who ships beans without recipes?  Not Rancho Gordo!) are here!

Bean and Corn Salad

Leek and Bean Soup

Tempeh, bean, and zucchini tacos

red beans with black stripes scattered on a wooden surface

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