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Dried flageolet beans for cassoulet? Where?

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Trying to find dried flageolet beans for cassoulet... preferable near the Farmer's Market area.

I went to Monsieur Marcel yesterday and found a $6 box of dried beans that expired in November, 2008.

Any other suggestions?

Mr Taster

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  1. Inevitably, the discussion turns back to Surfas, which has the correct (and pricy) tarbais beans for the dish kept fresh in the fridge.

    3 Replies
    1. re: condiment

      Very interesting.... pricey indeed, at $21 per pound according to this


      My shortcut cassoulet recipe calls for the dried variety, however... maybe I'll stick with great northern beans and save the tarbais beans for a time when I make the real thing.

      Mr Taster

      1. re: condiment

        Surfas also has dried tarbais AND flageolets, both of which I have awaiting the right moment. You could try Nicole's in South Pas, too - she's usually cheaper than both Surfas and M. Marcel.

        1. re: Will Owen

          If you have time to wait on delivery, this is the best source for all sorts of beans: http://www.ranchogordo.com/. His products are great, and the prices are reasonable.

      2. By the way... a quick call to Whole Foods on Fairfax confirmed that they do indeed have dried flageolet beans, though I'm sure they're not the tarbais variety.

        EDIT: And a quick visit to Whole Foods during my lunch break reveals that the crunchy organic flax seed vendor "Bob's Red Mill" sells 24 oz packages of flageolet beans for $6.99.

        Mr Taster

        1. I always get mine at Whole Foods. Look in the dried beans section, they have great choices from Bob's Red Mill. I make flageolets all the time, they are excellent.

          1. For a shortcut, Gelson's always carries canned pre-ccoked flageolet's under the brand name Valbon. Although I've never made a cassoulet with them, I frequently use them with braised lamb shanks, or as a side, and they are delicious. Just a thought!

            1. I made my cassoulet last night (it took me about 6 hours start to finish) with the Bob's Red Mill beans I got at Whole Foods and it turned out wonderfully... smoky and rich, and the beans were soft and creamy.

              FYI this was a simplified recipe engineered by the good folks at Cooks Illustrated, for those of us without 3 days to spend cooking. For those interested in the recipe, search for "Simplified Cassoulet with Pork and Kielbasa" on www.cooksillustrated.com.

              Mr Taster

              1. I have had the same problem with M. Marcel. I really like their cheese department and they have some great oils, vinegars and wines, but the rotation of their "dry goods" seems sketchy at best. A few months back I got some dried beans there and when I brought them home and put them in a bowl to soak the entire package was overrun with what looked like tiny black spiders! It was so frickin' nasty. I brought the (well wrapped) package back and they, of course, returned my money, but it took my insisting that they go back to the shelf and check other packages that got them to remove other bug infested packages. When the manager or whoever the authority guy was came over he was very nonchalant and just sniffed that the bugs were probably already in the beans. Well, yeah, duh, but it kind of speaks to the general state of the quality control on their shelved products. I don't want to completely trash them because they are a great addition to the Farmer's Market and I go there often, I just hope that someone involved in their management reads this board and takes action.