Jenise - can you help me?

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Jenise - can you help me?

Postby John Tomasso » Fri Dec 01, 2006 10:58 am

A while ago, you gave Robin a website for mail order beans - I searched but didn't come up with anything.
Could you share your website please?
TIA
JT
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:27 pm

John Tomasso wrote:A while ago, you gave Robin a website for mail order beans - I searched but didn't come up with anything.
Could you share your website please?


I'm not Jenise, but since she isn't here yet, I'll jump in: The bean source is Rancho Gordo, and their product is absolutely outstanding - fresh (dried) heirloom-variety beans, Southwestern and Mexican and European varieties all three. We've bought about a dozen bags-o-beans from them in the past few months and loved them all. They're so fresh that you don't need to soak them overnight, four hours is enough. Follow up with cooking as long and slow as possible, and they're fantabulous. Cannellini beans the size of limas - Native American tepary beans, flageolets, wonderful meaty marrow beans, sweet borlotti, great pinto-type Mexican beans like Flor de Junio ... can you tell that I'm smitten? They're more expensive than grocery-store beans but well worth it. I usually get a half-dozen at a time to spread out the shipping costs. I believe he also sells retail at farmer's markets in the Bay Area, maybe some of the locals can fill you in on that.

Here's the link: ranchogordo.com.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 01, 2006 1:31 pm

John, Robin gave you everthing you need to know. Fabulous beans, beans of types you didn't even know existed, all GREAT. And the website is also perfectly wonderful--has detailed, tasting-note like descriptions of each bean to give you ideas of what you might do with each.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:10 pm

Jenise wrote:John, Robin gave you everthing you need to know. Fabulous beans, beans of types you didn't even know existed, all GREAT. And the website is also perfectly wonderful--has detailed, tasting-note like descriptions of each bean to give you ideas of what you might do with each.


Seguing over into cookery, I've learned a couple of interesting things as I cook more and more Rancho Gordos, regardless of variety, that have changed my methods for bean cookery a little. I don't know if this would work with long-stored supermarket beans, but for Rancho Gordo, it's perfect:

* Soak them in just enough water to cover them to a depth of 1 inch. They'll swell to need it, but won't need much more.

* Cook them in the same water. It supposedly sames nutrients, seems to enhance flavor, and we haven't seen any beany side effects. :oops: Indeed, Rancho Gordos seem unusually benign in that regard, or maybe one's system just gets used to it if you eat more beans. Add a LITTLE more water if necessary, but I'm learning that if you don't use more than just the amount you need, you get a much thicker, better natural juice ("Potlikker"?) around them.

* Bring to the boil, let it bubble for about one minute, then turn down heat to the lowest low you've got. Cook covered in a heavy pot (I use a big black-iron dutch oven) for three hours, stirring every now and then. Don't salt until they're done (it allegedly toughens the skins, although I have not actually tested this). You don't even need to cook them with onions, garlic or any other flavoring. I'm finding that Rancho Gordos go best if you cook them entirely <i>au naturel</i> and salt at the end of cooking. Then you can use them in any bean recipe, but they're so freaking <i>good</i> all by themselves that you don't really need to.

Hey, does anybody know the Rancho Gordo guy personally, even casually? I'd like to talk with him and wouldn't mind an introduction over a cold call.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:23 pm

Don't salt until they're done (it allegedly toughens the skins, although I have not actually tested this).


I have! And it's not that it toughens the skins, but that the salt breaks down the proteins (think of any kosher chicken you've ever bought, definitely not the same texture as unsalted). So the beans get mushier and slip out of their skins. It's a perfect method for Mexican refried beans, but not much else.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby John Tomasso » Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:59 pm

Thank you both. Nice website, too.
They didn't have what I was looking for, tabaris beans for cassoulet, but it looks like they have about everything else.
Thanks again.
JT
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:16 pm

John, unless you absolutely cannot accept any substitute for the tabaris, consider Rancho Gordo's white tepary beans. It's the best bean for cassoulet I've ever used.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Linda R. (NC) » Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:55 pm

John, I googled tarbais and found a website that offers the tarbais beans, and a large selection of other varieties.

http://www.purcellmountainfarms.com/Tarbais%20Beans.htm

Maybe this will help.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby John Tomasso » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:01 pm

Thanks Linda, I actually found them at Surfas, right here in SoCal.
$25 for 2lbs of beans - my father would smack the crap out of me!
It can hardly be considered a peasant dish at that price.

Momma mia - I just went to your website and they're even more expensive.....$16 per lb.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Linda R. (NC) » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:17 pm

I'm glad you were able to find them locally, and cheaper. Holy cow, I can't imagine paying that much for dried beans. Filet mignon, yes, beans no. They must be good.
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Jenise » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:25 pm

$25 for two pounds of beans??????????

There's obviously more to know about these beans--where are they grown, on Paris Hilton's patio?
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Linda R. (NC) » Fri Dec 01, 2006 8:33 pm

Good one, Jenise! :lol:
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sat Dec 02, 2006 3:24 am

I've met the growers at Dove Creek in Colorado and have some of their Mortgage Lifter beans (they're huge). They have other neato heirloom beans, too.

http://www.ag.state.co.us/Mkt/cwpd.htm#Dove
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby John Tomasso » Sat Dec 02, 2006 9:33 am

Jenise wrote:$25 for two pounds of beans??????????

There's obviously more to know about these beans--where are they grown, on Paris Hilton's patio?


From what I read, the beans are planted along with corn - the corn stalk acts as a "pole" on which the beans can grow. When it is time for harvest, the beans are entwined with the corn, which means labor intensive, hand harvesting.

A friend of mine, who has cooked at Troisgrois in France, and L'Orangie in Los Angeles, swears by these beans for cassoulet. I'm not about to argue with him. :lol:
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:34 am

John, I'm curious. What wine do you have in your avatar?
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Re: Jenise - can you help me?

Postby James Roscoe » Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:52 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:John, I'm curious. What wine do you have in your avatar?


Sounds like a poll question for the WLDG to me?
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