I find beans rather fascinating. We had the Tepary Bean Soup that I wrote about yesterday for dinner last night, and both Ruth and I agreed that it needed Americanization. We bought these beans in Arizona and had not eaten them before. They are favored by Native Americans in the Sonoran Desert. To make them palatable to our taste we added 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and they made the soup delicious in our opinion. We followed 2 Native American recipes to make the basic soup, and neither recipe called for salt and black pepper. One of the 2 had no vegetables and the other was heavy on them. That’s why we combined the two. I’ll include the recipe we came up with on Monday.
I have learned a lot about beans since we bought the Tepary variety at the Tuzigoot National Monument near Prescott, AZ. There are far more varieties of beans than I knew about. Almost all of them are on sale somewhere on the internet. We can easily order more Tepary beans, for example, on the Ramona Farms website and others. Ramona Farms specializes in American Indian foods. Ruth has been looking for the Tepary variety locally and has found folks that can order them for us. Some of the more available bean varieties include Anasazi, Appaloosa, Jacob’s Cattle, Tongues of Fire, and Steuben Yellow Eye. All of these are sold somewhere. Then there are a few cranberry types, Mantecas, Orcas, Peruanos, Snow Caps, and Swedish Browns. I have not researched nor tasted these and other varieties yet.
Jacob’s Cattle are a type of plump kidney bean. They are so named because they have white and red specks. They are said to be full-flavored, and legend says that they were a gift from Native Americans in Maine to a non-native child.
Tongues of Fire are common in the Tierra de Fuego part of South America. I now wish we had bought some while we were there. These beans have markings that look like flames in a fire, and they are a type of Cranberry bean.
Anasazis are an heirloom bean that are found in the Four Corners region of the United States. They are said to be 2,500 years old as a variety and similar to pinto beans. Appaloosas are similar to kidney beans. They are cultivated in what is now the state of Washington, and they were named for the horses of the Nez Perce who live in this area.
And finally for today, Steuben Yellow Eyes are found in the northeast US. They are said to be the beans used to originally make Boston baked beans. They are like kidney beans and have several names including Dot-Eye and Butterscotch Calypso. They are said to be more common in California and Michigan.