Rancho Gordo heirloom beans delivery

I first read about heirloom beans during the height of the pandemic. The sale of dried beans in general had gone up once the pandemic and lockdown were in full force in early 2020. People were looking for pantry items that could not only last a long time, but were also economical. At that time, I never thought much about dried beans or beans in general, though I did eat and cook them. I never thought about how they were grown, dried, or packaged up for selling. I didn’t think about their shelf life since when I thought about dried beans, I just thought they’d last forever in my pantry. Most of the time when I got them, I would buy bags of dried beans (since they’re cheaper, healthier, and taste better), plus the occasional can or two as emergency supplies. Beans in the U.S. have always had an association as “poor people food,” or the food that you eat when you don’t have much money. The saddest thing about that association is that beans are not only one of the tastiest things you can eat, but they are probably one of the healthiest things you can consume. There are endless varieties of beans, from big fat cannellini beans to teeny tiny varieties of lentils (dal) in colors of the rainbow. To say that you don’t like beans at all is like saying you don’t like any pasta, any rice, any fruit, or any vegetable — it’s absurd and likely ignorant. And I found out another fun fact about beans: they are also great candidates to aid in crop rotation, as they are able to replenish nutrients in soil. So, they would be perfect to plant in between seasons for other fruits/veggies!

Rancho Gordo aimed to change the image of beans as a cheap food. They wanted to highlight how rich and complex beans can taste, and also aimed to get dried beans even fresher to you (less than two years from picking). They also wanted you to discover the sheer variety of beans from all over the world and how amazing it all could be. Rancho Gordo even has an heirloom bean club that literally has tens of thousands of people on the wait list (including me, annoyingly enough). I was on the wait list for a while and finally came to terms that I was likely never getting off this stupid wait list, so I finally went on their website last week to order several pounds of different varieties and see what the hype was all about. I just got my order yesterday, and I’ve never been more excited to cook beans. I have Christmas lima beans, “Marcella” white beans (literally named after Marcella Hazen for the cannellini-like beans that she said were her favorite from Italy); I also got these interesting ones called Jacob’s cattle bean, which are a bespeckled white and red bean that would serve well in a baked beans application.

I think beans are our future, so I’m all for looking for new ways to cook with beans, as well as more types of beans to cook with!

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