We might change the baseball phrase 'the dog days of August' to the produce phrase 'the dog days of January.' Seasonal fruits and vegetables such as citrus varieties, winter squashes and root vegetables remain abundant, but there is little in the way of new crops in the market. As such, this seems like a good time to remind our customers of our selection of locally grown heirloom beans that we started carrying a few months back. Available from Mohr-Fry Ranch, located in Lodi, Ca, the beans were all planted last year in early spring and harvested at the end of the growing season. The individual varieties vary in size, shape, color and texture and are packaged under the 'Elegant Bean' brand and available in 5# bags. We are now stocking the following varieties:
- Black Valentine-Medium size black bean, turning purple-black when cooked. Meaty texture, nutty flavor, cooks quickly. Black beans are considered to be the healthiest of all beans.
- Christmas Lima-Large, flat bean, bicolor-cream with maroon splotches. Buttery texture, chestnut-like flavor.
- Green Black eye Peas (Beans)-Small, light green bean with distinctive black mark at sprouting point. Used extensively in Caribbean and African cooking. Earthy sweet flavor, buttery texture.
- Green Flageolet-Small pale green bean used extensively in French cooking, particularly in cassoulets. Holds shape well when cooked.
- Hidatsu Red-A Native American bean originally from North Dakota. Medium size, dark red, similar in texture to kidney bean, nutty flavor.
- Jacob's Cattle-Plum, white and red speckled, kidney shaped bean. Full flavored with rich aroma and holds its shape under long cooking, rich aroma.
- Pebbles-Looking like a collection of several small beans with different colors ranging from white to black, but all from a single plant. Tender skin and mild flavors. Excellent in salads.
- Pigeon Peas (Beans)-Small bean, beige color with brown speckles, sweet flavor. Used extensively throughout Caribbean countries.
- Runner Cannellini-Large, flat white bean, popular in Italian and Greek. Very smooth texture, full body, and nutty flavor.
- Snow Cap-Beautiful bean, bicolor, creamy white/tan. Retains markings after cooking, creamy texture.
- Sunset Runner-Medium size purple, black bean. Creamy texture, distinct flavor, excellent when used as baked bean.