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Black Coco Shelling Beans
Inventory, lb : 0
|Two Peas in a Pod|
Black Coco shelling beans are encased in long, slender pods which will be green when immature and yellow once fully mature and dried. Each pod holds anywhere from one to six beans. The beans develop in the shell until they are plump enough to frame the shell's skin. Black Coco shelling beans are connected to the pod by a tiny fragment of flesh that creates the "eye" in each bean, once removed. The beans are ovate to round and just slightly curved. Their exterior is glossy and near jet black with an ivory eye at the bean's center. When cooked the beans establish a swollen, dense and meaty consistency and a nutty bean flavor. With the rapid ripening process, the cottony flesh of the shell will eventually lose water and harden as it matures and the beans will loosen readily. Dry Black Coco shelling beans continue to shrink and harden as they age.
Black Coco shelling beans are available mid-summer to early fall.
Black Coco shelling beans are botanically a part of Phaseolus vulgaris and are a black, bush bean variety. Like many members of this genus, the Coco bean can be used when immature as a fresh eating bean, pod and all, then once fully matured can be used as a shelling bean. In both forms, the Black Coco is a specialty bean and today is mostly a home garden bean or one that is grown for the farmers market.
Black Coco beans are known for their high protein content which makes them an ideal substitute nutritionally for meat. In addition, Black Coco beans contain iron, fiber, folate, manganese, potassium, B vitamins and carbohydrates.
When mature and shelled Black Coco beans are a choice soup bean. If simmered in a clay or iron pot, fresh Black Coco shelling beans need nothing more than water and mirepoix to bring out their best flavors. Mature beans should always be cooked prior to eating; they can be simmered, sautéed, fried or braised. Black Coco beans are a welcome addition to soups, stews, and cassoulets. Black Coco beans can be added to cooked or cold pasta preparations or added to salads. When Black Coco beans are immature, they can be used as a snap bean and prepared similarly to romano beans. Complimentary pairings include corn, chiles, tomatoes, garlic, oregano, parsley, leek, savory, pork, cream, cilantro, curry, vinegar, roasted fish, and olive oil. To store, keep fresh Black Coco beans refrigerated and use within four to five days.
Black Coco beans may be a relative of the renowned white coco or “le coco de paimpol” as it is known in France where it has a protected A.O.C. status. It is believed the bean may have existed in its Black Coco form in the nineteenth century but since black beans were not favored back then as a result of the way they imparted a dark hue to foods it was the white coco that became a nationally celebrated bean in France.
Black Coco beans are believed to be native to nineteenth century France where they are documented as being grown in their white form. Favor for black hued beans did not arise until the mid-1900’s when recipes for black bean soup were published in notable cookbooks, so there is little documentation of their existence as a food crop prior to that time. Black Coco beans grow as a bush bean (versus a pole bean type) and thrive in warm, sunny climates. At sixty days from planting the beans can be picked for fresh eating, at seventy days they are ready to be harvested as a fresh shelling bean, and at one hundred days once most of the leaves have fallen from the plant, all the beans can be harvested at once for a dried bean crop.
Recipes that include Black Coco Shelling Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.
|San Diego Foodstuff||Three-Bean Summer Salad with Warm Beef Bacon Vinaigrette|
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