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Your Favorite Beans And Why You Love Them

Tell me about your favorite beans.
Did you grow up eating Navy Beans, Red Beans, Pinto Beans and more?
Meat-yes no or maybe?
Pintos or Navy Beans with ham hocks were a weekly dish for our family.
Exotic or pedestrian, doesn't matter to me:)

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  1. I grew up eating a lot of beans -- aduki beans, kidney beans, black beans, lentils, split peas, cranberry beans. We ate them in many ways -- cooked with rice, baked beans, chili con carne, dessert. However, I didn't have my favorite bean until I was about 20 -- chana dal. It's really savory and satisfying.

    1. I grew up eating pintos almost exclusively...well, that is, the only types of beans I ate growing up were pintos. I certainly would have eaten them exclusively if I had been given the option, however: there's a famous family story that once when I was in the hospital as a little kid (which I was, a *lot*), I got so upset that I couldn't have beans for dinner that someone went out and bought a can of Ranch Style beans for me. To this day, I always make sure I have at least a half-dozen cans in the pantry, which is tricky up here because you can only buy them at Wal-Mart Supercenters in New England. Regular supermarkets don't have them.

      But my mom made pinto beans at least once every couple weeks when I was growing up, and to this day, I make them exactly the same way she did. I even eat them the same way I did when I was a kid: take a slice of the cornbread that's the only logical accompaniment to a pot of beans, crumble it up in the bowl, add beans, eat, with a couple scallions or thin slices of yellow onion on the side. Turn the leftovers into a pot of chili a few days later (yes, I'm from Texas and yes, I put beans in my chili -- deal with it), and if there's any chili left over a couple days after that, either top a pan of cheese enchiladas with it or make a Frito pie, depending on how much is left. Allstonian likes it when I make beans because that's like most of a week's worth of dinners sorted.

      However, as I've grown up and learned that there are beans other than pintos (and the occasional pot of black eye peas), I've also grown fond of Dominican red beans, black turtle beans, navy beans (preferably baked, of course), every kind of lentil in every kind of preparation from cold salads to channa dal, pink beans, chickpeas, fermented black soybeans, red bean paste...basically, we have most of el productos del Goya in our pantry, both canned and dried, at any given time, and tons of ways to serve them. I don't even think in terms of how healthy beans are, or how inexpensive: I just know that they're tasty.

      That said, I find lima beans repellent. Baby limas are fine, like you get in succotach, but full-sized dried limas? Blerg.

      Naturally, it helps a lot that a) part of me is eternally 12 years old, and b) I work by myself in a home office. Makes the consequences of a bean-heavy diet easier to deal with.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        I like almost all the pulses. I used to hate limas, and then I had the Greek fasolia gigandes which are super big limas. They were baked with olive oil and onions and garlic and white wine, and I couldn't believe they could be so good. I discovered my problem with limas was the texture when they were cooked badly. That said, my current bean favorite is black eye peas (which I despised as a kid), cooked with rice and pork, as in Hoppin John. But I could eat simmered pinto beans for the rest of my life and not get tired of them. And I love haricots of any description. If the Bible had been written in the Western Hemisphere, there would have been a day of creation dedicated to rice and beans.

      2. my mom made beans two ways: baked beans in the summer (homemade from scratch, and I'm sure they're wonderful but I really dislike baked beans), and navy bean soup with a ham hock (which I like but she only made it about once a year).

        when I got out of college and had no money I figured it was time to start eating beans as a cheap source of protein. Years later, I LOVE beans and eat them every chance I get. I generally just eat black and pinto...refried pintos, or stewed black beans as a side dish with chicken adobo, or with quesadillas, or with eggs, or in a burrito, or with rice and sriracha and avocado...

        1. Black Beans followed by chickpeas.
          Black beans and rice is one of my favorite bean dishes. The pot liquor from black beans is so rich it reminds me of chocolate.
          Chickpeas are so versatile. Used in so many dishes around the world. I make hummus almost every week.

          2 Replies
          1. re: scubadoo97

            Those two are tied for first place in my book.
            I couldn't live without chana masala, hummus, falafel, pasta e ceci, etc - not to mention the beige-on-beige glory of chickpeas with mashed potatoes.
            But I could eat black beans straight from the can. (They're pretty good with greens, too, or mashed with spices.)

            1. re: scubadoo97

              i have to concur on the chickpeas and black beans...mom used to make black beans simmered in soy sauce for hours...delicious.

              love chick peas on salads, in hummus, as falafel. yum yum yum

            2. Beans are truly a comfort food to me. I can't begin to narrow it down to one particular type, but at the top of my list are lima beans. I like the small ones and the fordhooks, but prefer the smaller ones. If cooked to being just tender and not mushy they are very filling and, to me, have a meaty type flavor. If I have leftovers, I will eat them for breakfast. I don't add meat to them, unless they are dried and then they are Butter beans! Oh so good with a ham bone. I grew up with Butter beans cooked until mushy and that is how those should be.

              Navy beans with bacon or ham, black eyed peas with salt pork or bacon, field peas, crowder peas, creamer peas, actually any of the cowpea types are all so good, and if you can get them fresh (the cowpeas) they are exceptional, with or without meat. Split pea soup is great, also. Not so crazy about kidney beans, or pintos, but I won't refuse to eat them. I think I would eat any bean that crossed my path, which is why I also like to make a 15 bean cajun soup with ham, sausage, and whatever leftover meat I may have on hand!

              1. Once a week we always had a meal consisting of pinto beans that had been cooked in a good sized pot with a couple of huge smoked meaty ham hocks served with cornbread and a salad. The flavor those smoked ham hocks imparted to the beans and the 'bean juice' was so intense. When the beans were done we'd take out the ham hocks and remove the meat (piece it out) and add it to the beans. YUM! Desert? Oh wow, a Jello parfait made with Dream Whip!

                1 Reply
                1. re: crt

                  Lima beans, so creamy and tasty...

                2. Adzuki or mung beans. Just comfort food to me. I love the sweet soups, hot for winter, cold for summer w/ little mochi balls. Frozen into popsicles. Red bean paste in pastry. Versatile desserts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chowser

                    Couldn't have said it better myself.

                    A cold bowl of sweetened mung bean soup goes down so well on a hot August summer day.

                    And don't forget adzuki beans in shaved ice (both Taiwanese and Hawaiian).

                    1. re: chowser

                      There are few pleasures in life as intense as ice cold mung bean soup in the middle of summer (or frozen into popsicles). Those pressed mung bean cakes are also pretty darn good!

                      Nowadays, I substitute black beans for adzuki, since it's so much more easily available where I live. For soups, they work just as well -- and if you can get the thicker skin off, the bean paste isn't bad, either.

                    2. Gosh what a hard question!
                      Growing up it was baked beans made from navy beans, and then navy bean soup with ham hocks, and chili make with ground meat. I now love legumes of all sorts.
                      But if I were to pick a favorite is my baby lima bean soup made with a ham bone,onions, garlic, bell peppers and fresh tomatoes, using dried beans.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: chef chicklet

                        Ooh, I forgot about baked beans! I have never had baby lima bean soup. Do you have a recipe? Are they from dried beans?

                        1. re: danhole

                          I do a lot tasting when I make soups and find they really need a lot of salt.But let me find it for you..I make it in the crock pot, its my own concoction and yes, I use dried beans.
                          1 lb of small baby lima beans -picked, rinsed and soaked in clean water
                          5-6 cups chicken broth- canned or homemade ( 3 cans)
                          1-2 T good olive oil
                          garlic- 4-5 cloves sliced
                          1 extra large white onion chopped
                          3 large carrots (reserved)
                          1 red and 1 green bell pepper sliced/diced
                          1 ham bone or 1 cup of ham or 2 hocks (ham bone or hocks are best)
                          2 T brown sugar
                          fresh tomatoes 3 chopped or 1 small can of diced tomatoes
                          3 stalks of celery chopped small
                          3 bay leaves
                          1 T herbs de Provence
                          Sea Salt- 1 T please taste the soup, depends on the ham.
                          1 T pepper to taste
                          1 T Tabasco sauce
                          bacon or bacon fat -2 T doesn't hurt

                          Rinse and pick over the beans. Then once water runs clear, place the beans in a bowl and just cover, to soak at least 8hours.
                          Pour the water and the beans into crock pot, don't use more than 2 cups of water add the hambone, and all the veggies. Add the broth and the herbs turn on high and place the lid. After 1 hour, stir, add the peppers, and the tomatoes. Should take 8 hours to cook on high. Taste the soup, add the salt after the ham bone has had a change to flavor the soup. You might need more salt and pepper. I remove the bone, take any extra meat, and cut up and then before putting it back into the pot, take a potato masher to mash some of the beans to thicken the soup. Then put the meat back in.

                          1. re: chef chicklet

                            I always add at least one chopped not seeded jalapeno or serrano chili to my beans, no matter what kind of bean. Spice with beans is a perfect match!

                            1. re: chef chicklet

                              I am SO making this - sounds great!

                        2. growing up it was baked beans made with navy beans, or boiled navy beans (maybe with a bit of onion, and possibly salt pork but i can't recall), which we served with molasses and just ate with hunks of bread and butter.

                          If split peas count, then for sure pea soup with doughbuoys, and pease pudding with jigg's dinner.

                          Mom also regularly made chili with kidney beans, and sweet and sour meatballs with kidney beans....I was an adult before I saw many of the others!!! I think i remember having chick peas on salads though. Now i don't think there's been one i haven't tried.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: im_nomad

                            oops i think that was called swedish meatballs, not sweet and sour....

                          2. Refried beans baby with melted cheddar cheese.Black Beans with roasted chile peppers and cumin.

                            1. I like the big, fat white ones (gigandes?), Greek-style in tomato sauce. Oh, and those super-skinny green beans, aka kenya beens aka French beans (?). Just parboiled, and then thrown in a pan with bacon. Yowza.

                              1. Like Barmy, I grew up in Texas and knew only pinto beans served over buttered cornbread. Still my favorite. We "import" the Ranch style beans to Mexico to have in our taco salad.

                                Our neighbor in Patzcuaro introduced us to Peruana beans, also called Canary beans. DH cooks them in a casuela over a wood fire in our outdoor horno/parrilla/olla. The difference in the taste of cooking over a wood fire is amazing.

                                1. So many beans, so little time!
                                  - Pintos: slow cooked plain or with bacon, onion, garlic, chile, ham hock
                                  - Mayocoba: ditto
                                  - Flor De Mayo: ditto
                                  - Lima/butter beans: with ham/ham hock in a thick soup
                                  - Black beans: ditto
                                  - Brown lentils: a refreshing cold salad http://life-eos.blogspot.com/2007/10/...
                                  - Pink/yellow lentils: sambar http://life-eos.blogspot.com/2007/10/...
                                  - Red/kidney beans: with ham hock in red beans and rice
                                  - Chickpeas: hummus

                                  Bean dishes I DON'T care for:
                                  Navy beans: baked sweet New England style
                                  Pintos: baked sweet tomatoey catsup style

                                  Barmy, why the canned beans? You should have pintos in the slow cooker constantly.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                    Don't care for pintos in the slow cooker: the sauce doesn't get the cooked-down, vaguely gelatinous mouthfeel that's crucial to the whole experience.

                                    The canned beans are for cookouts (warmed in a small cast iron pot over the coals while the meat is finishing) and late night deadlines, as well as episodes of intense homesickness.

                                    1. re: DiveFan

                                      Sorry to hear about your slow cooker experience; my >25 year old one has a low setting that cooks pintos down to a nice, creamy state. Perhaps you are getting some stale batches of beans :-(.

                                      When you mentioned 'cookouts' I'm visualizing the campfire scene from Blazing Saddles, gasping and ROFL.

                                      BTW what exactly do you mean by 'ranch' style? TIA!

                                      1. re: DiveFan

                                        It's a brand name, not a descriptor: Ranch Style Beans are basically pinto beans in a mild, tomato-based chili-spiced sauce. They're a staple of low-rent Texas, aka My People.

                                        1. re: DiveFan

                                          yes I've never had a problem either divefan. Today is overcast, perfect for a pot of beans. So I grabbed a bag of pinto, some frozen wrapped up smoked ham that was left over trimmings and so far after cooking the beans and all for about 5 hours, they are looking great. I now just added more onions, pepper and 2 smoked pork chops. Never had those before. I'll add the hot chilis later, but I've now added 2 T of dried ground ancho chili, and california chili powders. Its a little warm, but like the beans to fire in my mouth. So far they are breaking down in the crock pot, but they need a few more hours. I have never had that problem, so might be that BFP adds too much liquid? I don't know if there was ever too much, I'd just mash the pot, and stir. It will thicken.
                                          I say, lets here hear it for the slow cooker!

                                          1. re: DiveFan

                                            i have been slowcooking pintos for my 4 year old nephew. that means nothing added, not even salt. they turn out surprisingly good and creamy. though i'm sure different beans and batches are different, i keep cutting back on water and there is still plenty. my last batch was 4c beans to 7.5c water after soaking overnite and several rinses. roughly drained so maybe 1/4c left in, too.

                                        2. I grew up bean-less. My current comfort bean or legume dishes are pintos simply cooked and partially smashed so there is a creamy element along with whole beans (served with homemade salsa and cornbread) and lentils simmered in stock till creamy (served with greens) The humble pinto tastes really earthy to me, and I do not add herbs or spices to the pot.

                                          1. Both my folks were Southerners so for us it was Black-Eyed-Peas and Baby Lima Beans. Both cooked with diced onion and ham hock and served with buttered cornbread. Great winter comfort food to steam up the windows.

                                            Wow this post just made me remember ham and bean days (again with cornbread) at my elementary school cafeteria...quite fondly. I think those were navys.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: garfish

                                              Geez! I can't believe I forgot my beloved black eyed peas! Into the slow cooker all day, with tons of flavor and aromatics. Then served later on with ALL kinds of toppings. Sour cream, olives, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, scallions, (cheese for the cheese heads) and a bottle of Tabasco. Actually I bring these to parties, and they disappear! I love the little bite to the skin on black-eyed peas.

                                            2. My parents are Hoosiers but I grew up in Texas. We had navy beans and ham (served on bread, with onions and ketchup); great northern beans with ham (served on cornbread); my grandma's baked beans (great northerns with Heinz chili sauce and some other stuff -- brown sugar?); Ranch beans (a Texas staple); and baked beans with VanDeCamps pork & beans (it was my job to pick out the two globs of fat).

                                              Now that I'm an adult and am often poor, beans are one of my favorite meals. Black beans, pinto beans, red beans, blackeyed peas, lentils, etc.. Served on rice, bread, cornbread, quinoa, etc.

                                              Beans on cornbread is still one of my all-time favorite meals. (With collards! Yum!)

                                              1. I'm partial to lima beans and butter beans--so verdant, springy, and flavorful.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. I used to hate beans--my mom would make chili and I would avoid all the kidney beans. Once I learned that beans are actually very healthful, I made myself eat them again, and now I love them!! Especially in chili!

                                                  I love kidney beans, but I think I'm still partial to black beans. I love warming them and mixing in a bit of hot salsa, or adding them to tacos. Now I have a huge craving for some!

                                                  1. i've never been a "bean person," try as i may to get to like them. i wish i liked more of them for their power as carb, protein, fiber...

                                                    i can't stand black beans, in any form... i know it seems extreme, and how could anyone hate the innocuous black bean, but really those alongside bananas, oranges, avocadoes, strawberries, and bell peppers... yipe.

                                                    i do love navy beans, and pintos are tolerable. i will admit liking (*gulp*) Heinz Vegetarian canned beans.

                                                    i have yet to have mung beans and would love to try them... there's a local restaurant, Hugo's, that does a number of variations with them, but i'd be amenable to doing them at home if anyone's got a great recipe. tia!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Emme

                                                      Not much of a recipe for sweet mung bean soup I like, but this is the gist:


                                                    2. Does anyone remember Big John's Pork and Beans? It was two cans taped together. One can was the beans the other was the "sauce". We used to eat that all the time when we were kids over toast. Is it still around?

                                                      1. Life's funny. I grew up in the east in a real strong Russian-American culture, lots of meat, saurkraut and potatoes, but I can't remember beans. Through a simple twist of fate, I wound teaching in New Mexico. During a Christmas vacation, My brother, cousin and I ( 3 young
                                                        bachelors) decided to go to San Francisco and see what all this Haite Ashbury fuss was about. We had a great time and came home broke. In the day, we got paid once a month, the last Thursday, but at Christmas, one had to exist from mid-December until the end of January on 1 paycheck. Now the point of all this is that we had almost no money for food for the month of January. We were saved, however by the lowly pinto bean and good ol' American corn. We subsisted on pinto beans and corn bread. And thus began my life long love affair with the pinto bean. I later got my master's degree at the University of New Mexico. We went to Corrales , when there were farms there and bought 100 lbs of pinto beans and 4 bushels of chiles (2 red and 2 green). My masters was pinto bean powered! I now live in Maine and with 5 kids to feed, I turned to the pinto for help. Forty lb. bags from the health food store sure goes a long way. At a school, at which I taught, I brought a bean burrito every day for lunch and for school pot lucks, a platter of bean burritos. The kids nicknamed me Mr. Burrito. Even my Yankee born and bread wife loves 'em. Sooo sweet and delicious. And good for you too. Amen.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: Passadumkeg

                                                          I LOVED big John beans, I have been unable to locate them since the seventies. The closest I can get to the the Big John sauce taste is by adding ketchup to a can of drained Cambells pork and beans...

                                                        2. My dad, Gene, used to make "Gene's Beans". Navy beans (he was in the Royal Canadian Navy, eh?) soaked in water overnight, onions, garlic, smoked pork belly cut into chunks, and tomato sauce. He'd simmer some of the garlic and onions in the tomato sauce (he used Hunt's), and he'd layer the beans, onions, pork, sauce, beans, onions, pork, etc. until the big bean crock was full. It would cook at low heat for 5-6 hours, until the beans were bursting.

                                                          Now for the story: he was making a batch one cold, stormy day at our cottage on Lake Champlain when we saw a 20+ foot cabin cruiser in distress. The man and lady on board were on the front with a sheet they were trying to use as a sail; their engines had failed. They were clearly afraid of foundering on the very rocky shore. We went out in a row boat, attached some ropes, and pulled them into our dock. They didn't have any jackets or sweaters, so they were both soaked to the skin in their t-shirts, and very cold. We brought them inside, warmed them up, and served them some beans. They were both blown away, and asked for seconds (actually, the man asked for thirds!). As a Navy man, I know my dad felt it was important to help anyone in trouble on the water, and the fact that he could feed them as well made him feel very good indeed.

                                                          I've made them many times since; the unctuousness of the pork belly melts so well into the heft of the beans, with the highlights of garlic and tomato, and the sweetness of the slow-cooked onions; you might add a simple salad and a crusty bread and butter to have a simply perfect meal.

                                                          1. Peruanos or Peruvian Beans - they are about the size of a kidney bean but are light yellow-greenish. They cook up really smooth, especially if you can get the newest crop in the fall.

                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: Snackish

                                                              Yes! I just discovered these recently, and they're now my favorite kind of bean.

                                                              1. re: Bat Guano

                                                                I've been subbing these into the recipes I'd use canellini for, and I find them in many ways superior (starting with their frequent availability at under 50ยข/lb in bulk!). Big and unctuous, every bit as good as either canellini or borlotti beans cooked overnight in a slow oven with olive oil in the Tuscan manner. Made my best-ever cassoulet with these.

                                                                Another locally-grown bean I've just discovered at the Pasadena Farmer's Market is the White Cat bean. This is a really big sucker, color ranging from slightly mottled creamy white to heavily-mottled red (the grower says they'll cross pollinate like sluts with cranberry beans, and that sometimes he just has to sell half the crop as crans). Another very rich and marrowy bean, quick-cooking with a good versatile flavor.

                                                                What I deeply miss here in SoCal are the dozens of varities of field peas I used to find in Nashville at the end of every summer - cowpeas of so many colors and flavors, so delightful cooked alone or in a melange. Heirloom beans were not a big deal back there when we left, though I'd bet some folks are picking up on them by now. What I miss among the Southern fresh beans I've managed to find here almost by accident: "shelly" beans, where the green-bean pods are beginning to get woody, and so about two-thirds of the beans get shelled from their pods and then cooked with whatever pods are still tender enough to eat. For some reason this is a deeply delicious and satisfying bean dish.

                                                            2. We eat a lot of brown rice because I like it and we have a wonderful rice maker so it's a handy option on a work day. For variety, I add black beans or pinto beans along with spices, sauces, vegetables, in a whole bunch of different combos. I also make black bean chili every now and again, usually as a quick trick to use left-over pork or turkey.

                                                              Favorite is always a hard word and I never know how to respond to it, but I really love Greek gigantes. I guess they're favas of some kind, cooked in a tomato based sauce. You can get them anywhere in Greece and there are two Greek restaurants around here that I know of that have them, but they're not on every Greek menu in the U.S. so I look forward to them when I can get them.

                                                              I also like gandules. I think they're pigeon peas in English, but I've never seen them sold in English. I eat them with rice in Puerto Rican places in NY, and when I'm there I buy the Goya arroz con gandules in a box, the kind where you add water and oil. Not very chowhoundish, but it's a taste of home I can toss in my suitcase.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Judith

                                                                One reference I had said that the Greek Giant Beans are a lima (Phaseolus lunatus) but a entry at www.blogspot.com on cooking them had a reply that corrected that and said they are actually a variety of the scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus). Whatever, they taste awfully good cooked in the Greek fashion. Usually they are baked with tomato, but the first time I had them was with white white, olive oil, onions, a bit of garlic, bay leaf and sage. It was so good.

                                                                1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                  Bingo. Aliza Green's "Legume Primer" says that they are a white runner bean. I checked some other references that list white flowered varieties of Phaseolus coccineus, and this is one of them.

                                                                2. re: Judith

                                                                  They're definitely sold as pigeon peas in Boston: we usually have a couple cans on the shelf.

                                                                  1. re: Judith

                                                                    Cajanus cajan = gandules = pigeon pea = toor dal

                                                                  2. Yellow eye or molasses eye beans - the original baked bean in New England (this bean has a somewhat thinner skin than many others, a lovely flavor, et cet.)

                                                                    Judias from Spain - like lima beans on steroids, but with a gorgeous flavor and texture.

                                                                    Dried baby lima beans - the best for succotash (way better than frozen or canned limas of any type).

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Karl S

                                                                      Those yellow eye beans are so good. But the Judias, like the Gigantes, is a runner bean, not a lima bean. I haven't had it, but I must search it out.

                                                                      1. re: Father Kitchen

                                                                        I get judias from Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA. Love them.

                                                                    2. Growing up it was usually Pintos, mainstream Black, or White Navy... but when we could source them... I really enjoyed Flor de Mayo, Yucatecan Black, Bayo, Mayocobas & Favas but really I can't think of many beans I haven't liked.

                                                                      Preparations? Central Mexico is the world's bean capital... we had them often (a couple of times a day) and we had them a gazillion ways... from the Clay Pot with just some salt, refried, fried not mashed, in patties, as thick sauces, in soups, in stews, in moles, inside Roasted Poblanos, spread on bread, sopes, garnachas & other forms of anotojitos, with baked plantains & smoked pork chops, as tacos, as burritos with chorizo & potatoes, mixed with rice, broth used to poach eggs... you name it... when you eat beans as a primary protein source... you come with many ways to eat them.

                                                                      1. I can't believe nobody's mentioned fava beans yet! I love fresh favas in the springtime -either in a fava puree or simply sauteed with olive oil and mint.

                                                                        I couldn't live without pintos and garbanzo beans.

                                                                        The only beans I'm not real fond of are kidney beans.

                                                                        1. I grew up eating pasta e fagioli: soup base of tomato sauce and water (and a tablespoon of lard), ditalini pasta, and cannellini beans. We always ate it topped with grated pecorino, and occasionally some peperoncino flakes.
                                                                          We also ate a lot of chick peas: in salads, on bruschetta, and even in a type of alternative pasta e fagioli, where the base stayed the same, but the pasta was more like maltagliati, or broken up fettucine. In fact, chick peas are probably my favorite bean. I regularly eat them as hummus, falafel, panelle (Sicilian fried mashed chick pea fritters), and even Indian style.
                                                                          I like favas Greek or Middle Eastern style.
                                                                          Lentil soup (brown) was my nemesis as a child, but I developed an appreciation for it later on, and my family enjoys it much more frequently since I stopped making "that face".
                                                                          I've always loved both black beans (for soup) and pinto beans (just about any Mexican dish that includes rice), but my family did not use them in home cooking at all.
                                                                          Baked beans have always been part of family cookouts, barbecues, or grill nights.
                                                                          I love red kidney beans in beef chili (I know it's considered a faux pas by some), and have recently gotten very into Asian red bean paste in pastry, ice cream, and all sorts of sweet treats.
                                                                          I never did develop a taste for black eyed peas, but perhaps I just never ate well-prepared ones.

                                                                          1. I've tried, believe me, but I haven't found anything that has the depth of flavor of the black bean. I'll have to be more discerning when I try peruanos next, but I have a special place in my heart (gut?) for black beans, that I don't think will ever go away. Is there another bean that has so much flavor?

                                                                            I lived in Brazil as a youngster, and was introduced the feijao at a tender age. Other American kids seemed to rebel against the school diet of beans and rice, but I reveled in it. The big Brazilian stew, feijoada, has all sorts of meat in it, and a very rigidly defined set of accompaniments, but to my mind the real taste comes from the beans, pure and simple. My avatar is a nod to this noble legume.

                                                                            1. Being a New Englander I grew up on B&M Brick Oven Baked Beans, but nowadays I'm most partial to white cannelini-type beans, especially cooked with lamb or duck in a cassoulet.

                                                                              I was in Trader Joe's the other day when they were giving out samples of a new item, white beans cooked with vegetables (imported from Spain, where this dish is called sofrito), and bought several packs to take home, it's really good and will make a nice "too lazy to cook night" side dish.

                                                                              1. Growing up vegetarian and half-Indian, legumes of every variety featured heavily in our diet. Dal, channa masala, rajma, and black-eyed peas with ginger and spices (never knew what those were called in Hindi!) - all were favorites growing up. Aside from the Indian dishes, I also love to put kidney and garbanzo beans in salads, as well as have black beans or pinto beans whole or refried with my Mexican food. The only beans I really can't stand are lima beans (never had any that were as sublime as some on this thread have suggested), urad dal, adzuki beans, and mung beans. I also detest bean sprouts!

                                                                                1. Pintos for beautiful frijoles refritos, navy beans for soup, split peas for soup, kidney beans for chili, borlotti and cannellini beans for pasta e fagioli, red adzuki beans for sweet red bean paste (pastries, mochi), black eyed peas with ham hocks, or in Nepalese Aloo Tama, haricot for baked beans, lentils for dhal and soup, garbanzos for hummus, channa masala and channa paneer (my favorite vegetarian Indian dish), pigeon peas for arroz y gandules, and black beans for frijoles negros. Yum!

                                                                                  1. Growing up, it was navy bean soup, canned baked beans, and canned butter beans. Loved them all. Occasionally, there were limas (frozen, either alone or in succotash) - hated them.

                                                                                    Now, I don't eat much meat, so I am all about the beans: kidney, pinto, black, cannellini, pink, garbanzo, etc... I always have cans around and eat them almost daily. My weakness, though, are canned Greek gigantes. I could eat them at every meal and it wouldn't be enough.

                                                                                    1. We rarely had beans growing up...pork and beans at picnics and potluck dinners. Now as vegans we eats beans a lot, mainly black beans and garbanzos but sometimes pintos, adzukis, lentils, red kidneys, fava, etc.

                                                                                      1. Red lentils, lentils de Puy, black beans, garbanzos, anaszazi beans. Love the pretty speckled "heirloom" beans from Baer's Best. Don't care for kidney beans, navy beans, or lima beans. Usually cook up a big pot of beans with vegetables that I can use as soup, pasta sauce, over rice, in a tortilla, mashed as a spread, etc. Recently added some seitan (which I had made myself). So many traditional recipes to try.....aren't lentils the oldest cultivated food crop?

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                                                                                        1. re: cassis

                                                                                          Must second the recommendations for Ranch Style Beans, especially the ones with jalapenos or chopped sweet onions. Grilling season is here, and you'll find they go perfectly with all BBQ, steaks, and burgers. They also go great with bacon for breakfast!!!

                                                                                        2. 1.) Red beans
                                                                                          2.) White Lima beans
                                                                                          3.) Black beans
                                                                                          4.) Pinto beans

                                                                                          All cooked with lard, bacon drippings, other fats and a bevy of seasonings.


                                                                                          1. Beans are one of those things that have different names in America and the UK, so I am thoroughly confused by this thread. I know that garbanzos=chickpeas, and fava beans=broad beans, but what are navys and limas? And are pinto beans the same as borlotti (they looked pretty similar on wikipedia)?

                                                                                            Anyway, I like chickpeas the best, followed by flageolets, borlotti beans and butter beans.

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                                                                                            1. re: greedygirl

                                                                                              Navy bean = pearl haricot, Boston bean, pea bean

                                                                                              Lima = butter beans

                                                                                              Pinto are not the same as Borlotti