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Jan 25, 2010 11:09 AM

The Moldy Pinto Bean Mystery! Can you help?

Howdy Hounds,

I have a mystery that even Google couldn't help me solve.

Last night I cooked dried pinto beans in my 6 quart presto pressure cooker for 55 minutes. When I ate a test bowl about every 3 bites tasted moldy. UGGH!

I was so sad since I had a craving for chili and now I will have to start over. I was so curious as to why and how this could be and I tried to find out if this has happened to anyone else. My searches have turned up nothing. What do you think?

Here is the recipe I used:
2.5 C. Organic Dried Pinto Beans, 6 C. Water, 3 Tbl Canola Oil, 2 cloves organic garlic, and a quarter of a jalepano pepper from the freezer. Nothing looked or smelled moldy so I am at a loss.

Thanks for your help.

Gratefully, ALC

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  1. How long/old have you had/are the beans? Storage/humidity could have been an issue.
    I'm thinking something about organic beans, perhaps they weren't dried properly/fully after harvest. Remember, beans are agricultural products and can be affected by a number of issues, from field to table. The beans don't have to appear moldy to taste that way.
    All you used in the chili was the beans, water, garlic, oil and a little jalapeno? That's a very basic recipe, more like what I would do for cooking my beans before I make chili, not really chili at all. It's possibly not the beans, how was the pepper from the freezer? I've found that fresh frozen peppers sometimes take on a funky smell, but you didn't use very much. My money's on the beans, though. Toss them and start over, with fresh beans.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Thanks Bushwickgirl,
      Yes, you are right that wasn't my chili recipe just what I do to cook my beans before hand.

      I just bought the beans last month but I didn't check the best-by date. The pepper seemed fine but who knows.

      And now I am thinking there is something wrong with me because I just ate a little halvah and it tastes like mold too. Maybe I am cursed. Having everything I eat taste like mold would be like hell on earth. I hope I am just hypersensitive to that flavor right now.

      I really appreciate your thoughts and time. ALC

      1. re: misscooley

        Whew, that's good it'sjust the bean cooking liquid. If it wasn't, you'd take a lot of heat from some chili fanatics here on chow if it got out.
        Anyway, maybe you're coming down with something, hope not, but I go through periods when certain foods tast like someting else that's not so great. Then it goes away. Hormones, maybe.
        Good luck!

    2. Forget about the 'organic' stuff. All food is organic since it is composed of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen plus other elements. Some other term should be used to indicate that no pesticides or antibiotics were applied to the food like UNPOLLUTED.

      I use dried beans and other legumes every time I make a thick 'minestrone' which every two weeks. The quantity of the resulting minestrone is enough for 12 breakfasts. Yes, BREAKFASTS...every morning! Cholesterol and blood glucose reduced from high levels in 3 months.

      The previous post has good suggestion. Start over. Get your dried beans from a supermarket where the turnover on the shelves are much faster. I buy store label beans because they are usually less expensive than the nationally known name brand.

      Never...I repeat, NEVER put beans in chili. If you crave beans, serve them as a side dish.

      ChiliDude has spoken.
      73-year-old chili snob whose auto license plate reads "TX CHILI"

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChiliDude

        Agricultural product is the term I use to indicate food, no matter what catagory, whether organically or conventionally raised.

      2. Are you taking any antibiotics or prescription medications right now? I have noticed some antibiotics having an effect on taste, more so closer to when I take them than when I'm about to take the next dose.

        Now I have never tasted mold ... but I have noticed particularly a difference in the way chocolate tastes--certainly one of the last tastes I would wish to have interfered with!

        Maybe you should try one of those tongue scrapers ;)

        1. We cooked some beans in the house last night and they tasted mouldy etc. Somehow someone concluded it was because after they were re-heated or initially cooked someone had taken the top off and taken beans off during the night. If this is done during the daytime then its fine bit not at nightime. Personally I thought it was a load of rubbish? They are left on the stove though all night with the top on but why the nighttime and not the day or is the whole rumour a load of rubbish. Also how long will beans last if they are not referigerated and just covered in a 20oc moist climate????

          1. Sorry about your pinto experience, and do not have a clue why they tasted moldy.

            On the bright side, it may have been an omen.


            Why am I posting again on this old post?