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Beans - Fresh Shelling

bean-purple-hull-black-eyed-pea-featFresh shelling beans are beans that are grown for the seed, the bean-rather than the edible pod (green, yellow wax and French beans). The more familiar types of shell beans would be soy (edamame) and fava beans. For a few months in the summer, several varieties of shelling beans that are usually used when dried are available in their fresh state-varieties include (black-eyed peas), cranberry, speckled butter, cannellini and garbanzo beans. These beans are fully mature and harvested from their shells before they are dried. They are not starchy like their dried counterparts, but rather have a creamy texture and mild nutty flavor. The condition of the pods is the surest indicator of quality. They should be fully colored and feel somewhat tough and leathery. They should also be lumpy, indicating that the beans inside are ready for harvesting. Fresh shell beans are usually cooked briefly in seasoned hot water or stock before being combined with other ingredients. They work well in soups, summer salads, ragouts and pasta dishes.

Bean - Cranberry

Bean - Cranberry

Cranberry beans have a brilliant red-pink pod with large bi-colored beans. They have a creamy texture and clean earthy flavor.

Bean - Purple Hull Black-Eyed Peas

Bean - Purple Hull Black-Eyed Peas

Purple Hull peas are a staple in Southern Cuisine. The common perception is that Purple Hull peas are creamier, smoother and more delicious than their cousin, black-eyed peas.

Bean - Speckled Butter

Bean - Speckled Butter

Speckled Butter Beans are a staple in Southern cuisine and a cousin to Lima beans. Shades of crimson and pale green "speckle" the large, creamy white bean.