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Haricot Beans

Every vegetarian's delight and every cook's delicacy, Haricot Beans serve to be one of the main ingredient of all cuisines. It caters to every corner of the world with similar superiority and has managed to be the justified king of the beans. Carrying forward the popularity of the large family of "white Beans" Haricot Bean rules the world uniformly. first identified in Central America , it has spread its roots worldwide and is counted amongst the most important legume cultivated in Europe and North America today.

A great source of copper, proteins , iron , fats and many other vital vitamins Haricot Bean is now grown invariably in other temperate and subtropical regions of the world as well. This legume is predicted to have been procured to domestication for more than 5000 years now. Interestingly

Europe tasted this bean in the middle of 16th century and that too when these beans looked different and therefore due to there appearance they were entitled to be kidney beans as this variety of beans were red in color and were genuinely shaped as kidney. and after that Europeans could never forget the addictive taste of these Haricot Beans. Later on various other varieties of different sizes, contrasting colors came into play.

Now the mystery lies as to why these beans were acclaimed as Haricot Beans. This was due to the contribution of French people who changed its name from ayecotl to haricot which roughly meant "meat". Till date French call it haricot whereas the English population have restricted this term only for small, white and dried bean. One can easily trace these dried small beans in the traditional middle eastern and Italian delicacies. An integral part of the French, Greek, and North American cuisines Haricot Bean or Haricot Green Beans is the ideal taste maker that turns up the flavor of the food there and infact works as icing on the cake where it might be the entire cake as well.


Main Types of Haricot Bean
The Italian name Cannellini denotes these elongated, thin and dazzling white beans which are a type of Haricot Bean. Deceptively delicious, these beans are the main ingredient in superb salads, stews and special Tuscan bean and pasta soup. Immensely Popular in France, these beans when cooked in Breton way along with mutton and lamb is a treat to everyone.

One step behind than others, this type of Haricot might not pose a challenge to the taste of others but then it has its own flavor and importance. It is a smaller version of the Other beans and is round in shape.

The third version of Haricot Beans is endowed with precious powers of taste and miraculous blends of flavors. These beans simply enhance the taste of any dish they are part of and are a chef's delight.

Haricot Lingot, a large, flattened, oval white bean which is widely grown in northern France derives its name from its place of origin, Lingot. These beans as an exception are priced very high simply because of the well maintained care given to them during their growth. Their creamy plumpness, makes them a perfect ingredient for cassoulet.

Haricots blanc de Soissons is a large white bean grown in the region of Soissons in France. In Italy, it is known as bianchi di Spagna .

Most importantly the Haricot Beans are cheaper and thus can be afforded by one and all. A great package of awesome taste and nutrition, these beans are great stomach filling.


Patterns of Growth
It seems that it is due to their adaptive strains which shows in their patterns of growth. Depending on the availability of climatic conditions, soil conditions the plant shows following two different patterns of growth:

Pole Beans : these bean plants grow as a typical vine which needs support to climb up.

Dwarf Beans : These plants remain dwarf and come under the bush category. The beans in this case grow on low plants.


How To Consume Haricot Beans

Eat them green
Young and tender pods can be picked up early and can be cooked in various ways as a green vegetable. Numerous recipes involves green or yellow beans or haricot green beans as their highlighted ingredient. French beans for example and it does not matter the beans can be yellow as well.

Pop them up and eat roasted
This is a very famous and interesting way to eat these beans which can be roasted like peanuts. All you have to do is to roast the entire bean pod in a little oil and see them popping up like pop corn and it tastes like roasted peanuts. Necessity is the mother of all inventions and this applies here as well. this technique was used in areas where water boiled at too low temperatures. so they came up with ideas to roast them instead and luckily it came out to be a super plan and gave us a new snack to munch on.

Gorge on them Fresh
Why dry when green beans taste even better. This technique to eat the beans excluding the pods relies on the fact that fresh is the best. This rule mainly applies to Flageolet Bean and cranberry bean grown wildly in Argentina and Chile.

Now this is the reason that beans are dried. For a fact that beans cannot remain green forever therefore methods of preservation were devised and to dry them was the best way to preserve them as seeds. These preserved beans function in many ways, can be eaten later on by boiling or soaking and also serve as seeds. This category is the most numerous and include navy beans, medium haricot beans, Borlotti beans, marrow beans, kidney beans (cannellini), Mexican black beans (turtle beans), to name a few.

Haricot Bean Recipes:

Boston Baked Beans

Haricot Beans Recipe

Haricot Bean & Parmesan Soup Recipe
Soak the dried haricot beans overnight. Rinse and boil them for 30 minutes. Be careful, don't let them be mushy. Now melt the butter in the oil in a clean pot and add chopped garlic and onion and sweat for a few minutes. Add the beans and vegetable stock, bring to a boil and cook for 25 minutes. Add the cheese and boil for another 5 minutes. Process the soup with a hand blender or blend the soup in a liquidizer and season. Serve hot.

White Haricot Bean Salad Recipe
Soak the haricot beans in cold water overnight, strain and put in a pan with fresh water. Then simmer for 1hr 30 mins until soft. Skin and half the tomatoes remove seeds and cut into small pieces. Cut the olives into small strips and put in salad bowl. Peel and crush the garlic and beat into the vinaigrette. Add the tomatoes and beans, cut the eggs into 8 sections and add. Now Pour the vinaigrette over the ingredients. Ready to Serve.

A Word of Caution
Make sure that before eating raw bean seeds, you soak them in water for few hours to degrade the toxicity caused due to the lectin phytohaemagglutinin and once this is taken care of. the healthy bean seeds are perfect food for your health .