The unique and interesting assortment of beans has crossed oceans and circled the globe. Here are some of the interesting varieties you can find in other countries.
CORONA BEAN – This bean is common to Italy, and is a large, broad white bean similar in appearance to a large lima bean. You won’t find it grown in other regions throughout the world.
CRANBERRY BEAN– A dusty pink bean, and either streaked or marked with red strips. It is used in Italian cuisine and known as the Borlotti Bean in Italy. More recently introduced to North America, it is grown in Vermont as well as California.
FLAGEOLET BEANS – This is a popular French shell bean with an inedible green pod and small light-green, kidney-shaped seeds. Braised flageolets are the traditional French accompaniment to leg of lamb, and they can also be added to soups and stews or in salads. If using dried beans, they must be soaked before they are prepared.
MARROW BEANS – This is the largest of ‘white’ beans. It is also the roundest of white beans. Marrow beans are often grown in the eastern United States and considered field beans.
A most unique bean is the SNAKE BEAN and you can imagine what it looks like just from its name. The snake bean is widely grown in Southeastern Asia, Southern China, and Thailand. They are a climbing plant with long pods ranging from 14 to 30+ inches and usually hanging together in groups of two or more. It is probably better known as the yardlong bean, the Chinese long bean, or asparagus bean.
These beans are usually cooked like common green beans and cut into shorter sections or pieces. It is often used in stir-fry dishes, but you can also enjoy them added to any omelet.