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Default Beans?

In my home state of Texas whenever somebody says they are fixin' a pot o' beans you can be darned sure they'll be pintos. I'm given to understand, however, that that's not the case across the whole US of A.

So what about where you live and/or grew up? What were and are the default beans?

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  1. Beans generally meant white northern here in Maryland. Just glad to have variety now.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Terrie H.

      We didn't have a big pot of beans here, come to think of it. It was a ham and bean soup.

    2. Pintos or Navy, ham Hocks standard.Dad from Texas, Mom from Kansas and grew up in KC.

      1. That definitely meant either pinto or black beans for me growing up in Southern California (at least, for my family and friends). I'm not quite sure what the default bean is here in the Midwest, but I'd certainly be interested to hear other's insights.

        1. Prolly Red or Kidney....Then again they might mean...Green or Butter.......

          1. I'm from and currently live in the midwest... White Navy or Great Northern are assumed if you say beans. When you say that you're making beans it means this soupy kind of bean dish with ham and is always served with cornbread on the side. That could be more specific to my family, although at church dinners, especially those that are fundraisers, "beans" on the menu means this ham and bean dish. Baked beans are made with navy beans, as well.

            10 Replies
            1. re: velochic

              Sounds like the further north and east you go, the more likely you are to strike navy beans. I wonder what beans Southerners--New Orleans excepted--tend to chuff.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                Pea beans in parts of New England

              2. re: velochic

                ham and beans and cornbread -- you're in Indiana.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yup, the only other kind I ever had was limas and kidney. Kidney beans were standard for "chili" (in quotes because Mom's was basically hamburger and tomato soup) or "goulash" (even less authentic). Small limas we had fresh from Grandpa Owen's garden, while the big butter beans were always from cans, as were the kidneys. The Air Force took me west and kept me there, and the beans became pintos, mostly.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        My maiden name is a derivation of your surname -- and with your description of Mom's chili as "in quotes because Mom's was basically hamburger and tomato soup" -- are you sure you're not my long-lost brother? My mom's "chili" is tomato juice, browned hamburger, a can of kidney beans, chopped onions, and broken spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti. Then dump some chili powder in it until it tastes kinda like chili.

                        I never make it that way, but when I'm home, I confess it tastes pretty good, even if it's not really chili

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          You poor dear. I wish I could airmail you some of my own special recipe chili.

                          1. re: Perilagu Khan

                            Don't worry -- in ancient times, I was married to a native Texan. I've got chili covered.