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White Cap Shelling Beans
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White Cap shelling beans are a rather plump, ovate and curved bean with an ivory white foundation and cranberry colored speckles throughout its curved lower half. Fresh White Caps are lean, starchy and grassy; once cooked they develop a smooth, meaty flavor and dense, creamy texture.
White Cap shelling beans are available late summer through the early fall.
White Cap shelling beans are an heirloom pole bean and member of the Phaseolus vulgaris genus, the most widely cultivated genre of beans in the world. Farmers, specifically organic farmers, often grow shelling beans in open, and otherwise empty, fields revitalize the soil with nitrogen. Often entire crops are turned into the soil at the end of the season, treating the beans as green manure for healthy soil development for future crops.
Fresh White Cap shelling beans can be utilized as a salad bean, soup bean, pureed into a condiment or spread. They can also serve as an accompaniment to grilled fish and steak. Complimentary pairings include other shelling beans such as Cannelini and Rattlesnake shelling beans, garlic, shallots, herbs such as thyme, oregano, cilantro and arugula, fresh and aged cheeses, eggs, butter, citrus, olive oil, bacon, ham, shredded pork, lamb and seafood such as prawns and crab.
Perhaps considered a long tale, yet documentation proves nearly hard to refute, the White Cap shelling bean, which is originally known as the Snow Cap shelling bean has legendary origins. The rare heirloom variety was collected from a craw of a Canadian Goose that was shot near the Mostoller Family's sawmill in Stoystown, Pennsylvania, in the fall of 1865. The bird was being dressed for cooking when Sarah Mostoller found a handful of the beans in the goose's craw. She saved the seeds for germination and the Mostollers became the first family to successfully cultivate the bean in recorded history. Its name was given due to its pinkish purple markings with a snow white cap.
Recipes that include White Cap Shelling Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.
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