Flageolet beans?

Everything about food, from matching food and wine to recipes, techniques and trends.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:31 am

Carole cooked a wonderful cassoulet today, using a "quick" method in Cook's. The recipe calls for flageolet beans, and if unavailable to use Great Northern beans.

While out and about this morning, we looked for flageolet beans and came up empty handed. Have any of you ever used these beans? Are they worth the extra effort to obtain? Do any of you have a source for the beans?

Thanks.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby G Stewart » Mon Mar 27, 2006 3:32 am

Randy Buckner wrote:Carole cooked a wonderful cassoulet today, using a "quick" method in Cook's. The recipe calls for flageolet beans, and if unavailable to use Great Northern beans.


What the..... :!:

Flageolets are those beans that have a pale green colour. Traditionally they're served with a leg of lamb.

Cassoulet is NEVER made with flageolets! If you go to Castelnaudary (the home of the cassoulet) and ask for some flageolets to make a cassoulet with, you will be hung, drawn and quartered on the spot!

It should be made with white beans called "mogettes" or "haricots coco". At a pinch, regular "haricots blancs" will do.

A recipe for cassoulet can be found here.
User avatar
G Stewart
Cellar rat
 
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 4:55 pm
Location: Chinon, Central France

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Mar 27, 2006 4:37 am

Okay, I'm confused.

This is what one source has to say:

Flageolet (Phaseolus Vulgaris) beans are immature Kidney Beans that have been removed from the pod while very young. Flageolets are about 3/8 inch long, kidney shaped; pale green, pale ocher or white. Flageolet Beans are very tender, have a light, fresh taste, delicate texture and tender skin. This bean originated in the United States but was brought to France where they were cultivated and are more commonly used.
Suggested Use: Cooked Flageolet tossed with lemon and fresh herbs is a delightful companion dish to fish, meat or poultry dishes. This bean is a classic for French cassoulets of lamb and vegetables.

And another source:

In France, flageolets are taken very seriously. Called the “caviar” of beans, they are crucial to the proper execution of cassoulet, the classic, slow-cooked dish of white beans and various cuts of meats, including duck, pork and sausages.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby John Tomasso » Mon Mar 27, 2006 10:02 am

Flageolets are available in the States, Randy. I know for sure Roland imports them. While I can't speak to their authenticity in cassoulet, the description you posted of them is accurate.

If you shop at any stores that sell Roland products, they can probably special order them for you.
User avatar
John Tomasso
Too Big to Fail
 
Posts: 1202
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 5:27 pm
Location: Buellton, CA

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:20 pm

Thanks, John. I spent quite a while last night perusing the Internet. I found a gourmet site that imports them. The only problem is they only sell 11.5 pound bags. I ordered them anyway.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

An excellent substitute

Postby Jenise » Mon Mar 27, 2006 12:31 pm

Is a Native American bean called tepary, and I believe the same plants produce both white and brown beans. The white tepary beans are a perfect cassoulet bean, better than Great Northern.

I buy mine from Rancho Gordo.

http://www.ranchogordo.com/html/v_beans.htm
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26342
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Cassoulet beans

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed Mar 29, 2006 2:08 pm

To add more confusion... a recent article in the NYT specified that the tarbais bean was THE bean for the dish. I have gotten interested in dried beans lately and am working through some of the offerings at Purcell Mountain Farms. It is extremely confusing and difficult to taste differences between white beans for me at this point.
Mamma Mia !
Christina Georgina
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:37 pm

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:25 pm

a recent article in the NYT specified that the tarbais bean was THE bean for the dish


Aarrgghh! I tried to find mogettes, but could find no US source. I did see haricots coco available. Now I have to explore tarbais.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:32 pm

Well, tarbais beans look very interesting. Here is more than you will ever want to know:

In the early 1700s the bishop of Tarbes - a town located in the foothills of the French Pyrénées - had the chance to witness the cultivation of crops from the New World while on an extended stay in Spain. He was quite taken with maize and the many varieties of kidney beans. Upon his return from Spain in 1712, he decided to introduce this bean in the Adour valley: the beautiful river originates in the Pyrénées, flows through Tarbes and ends its run in the Atlantic ocean near Bayonne. The local farmers adopted the tasty crops with much enthusiasm in the plain of Tarbes. The bean that became most popular looked like a cross between a lima and a white kidney bean – it is flatter and shorter than a kidney bean and yet not as wide as a lima - and has been known forever since as the Tarbais bean. It is the preferred bean in the region showcased in many a dish, but none better than cassoulet.

Traditionally, the Tarbais bean grows jointly with corn: because the Tarbais is of the climbing variety, farmers would seed one bean and one corn kernel side by side so that the bean would use the corn stalk as a stake. The arrival of intensive farming –hybrid corn varieties, machine harvesting and all that - in the 1960s almost wiped out the production of the famous bean of Tarbes – it seems few had time for a bean that was harvested by hand. Fortunately, the precious seeds were not completely lost and got transferred from one generation's bean patch to the next. During the 1980s, a handful of farmers decided to jump-start the traditional production of the Tarbais on a larger scale in the terroir it liked best. The Tarbais is still harvested by hand, only when it is at peak ripeness. This labor-intensive process is the only way to insure the quality of the final product.

All the hard work has paid off: the "Label Rouge" was granted to the Tarbais in 1996, the first time the coveted recognition was awarded to a bean. It also benefits from an IGP (Indication Géographique Protégée), which specifies the exact area where it can be cultivated, essentially on the Adour plain of the Hautes-Pyrénées department.

The cost of production is high and the supply is limited every year, and yet the demand only continues to grow. Why? Because each succeeding generation comes to realize that it is the preeminent bean for the dishes they grew up with. They have a balanced flavor, a thin skin and a sweet, almost buttery flesh that are prized by all that taste them. Traditional recipes include garbure and cassoulet, of course, but many chefs are also pairing it with fish (seafood cassoulet with cod or tuna, for instance).

One of the special qualities of the Tarbais bean is that it doesn't fall apart when reheated, but it also manages to maintain that melt-in-your-mouth texture. This also makes them perfect for bean salads, and any soup or casserole that calls for white beans.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Tarbais beans

Postby Christina Georgina » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:44 pm

I bought a pound from the Purcell Mountain Farms web cite. They are large, somewhat flat like a lima. I have tested them in Marcella's tuna/onion salad and they are wonderful. They do hold up to tossing. In this application, at least, I prefer them to the traditional cannellini.
Mamma Mia !
Christina Georgina
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1012
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:37 pm

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby MarkE » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:46 am

Randy R wrote:I agree, I've never seen cassoulet with green flageolets - why does this word make me think of flatulence?) but I could have been tortured for an unlimited time and never would I be able to say the names of the actual beans used in cassoulet! :oops:


Flageolet the flute has the same Latin origin as flatulence. The bean however came from a different word.

The bean used in cassoulet of Castelnaudary is called haricot lingot du Lauragais.
User avatar
MarkE
Wine geek
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:45 am

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby MarkE » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:53 am

If you really want to make cassoulet the Castelnaudary way, you'd use haricots lingot du Lauragais, but good luck finding it in the US. Tarbais and Mogettes are excellent too. Check chefshop.com.
User avatar
MarkE
Wine geek
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:45 am

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:35 am

Thanks Mark and Christina. I decided on Tarbais beans. I ordered some from Purcell Mountain -- nice site FWIW.

I want to come up with a terrific cassoulet recipe. I understand Lou Kessler's wife makes a killer cassoulet.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Flageolet beans?

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:11 pm

Well, except for the sweet part.


I'm glad you included that -- I have a reputation to maintain. Don't you have some protest to attend? Cars to burn?
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound


Return to The Forum Kitchen

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests