July 25, 2012

Cranberry Beans

 The Cranberry Bean also goes by the name Borlotti.  It is primarily an American grown bean and it is exported to Italy.  Borlotti is the Italian name.  Other names they might go by are shell beans and  French Horticultural Beans.   This bean and others also belong to, what is known as, Tongues of Fire Beans.  I want to find out more about that...  The bean is not related to the cranberry fruit but the name comes from the color of the darker spots on the bean, itself.  It is similar to a Pinto Bean in usage and cooking techniques but it cooks a little faster and has a richer, creamier flavor.

 It is a speckled bean for the most part with the random reddish bean as you see above.  If you look closely the speckling is really swirls of color.

 When they are cooked the speckling disappears to make a solid brown bean.
They are an excellent source of nutrition and fiber.  Vegetarians can benefit from their protein content and heart patients can certainly enjoy as much of this food as they like without fat and cholesterol.

 I recently ordered a large bag to try them and our first cooking was a basic boiling from the dried form and then we added salt, pepper, cumin, corriander and chili powder.  We served them with cheese on top and cornbread.... a very southern way of doing things, I might add.  LOL

It is easy to find the dried variety online or in some grocery stores.  I ordered mine online and the prices vary but they are readily available through the internet.

Check out the Harvest to Table link for more on this bean variety and how it grows and is harvested.

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