Bean Tasting at UC Davis

UC Davis is a famous agricultural school. There are a lot of interesting people doing great things there. Currently they have a study going on about the feasibility of offering heirloom beans to CSA customers and at farmers markets and I’ve been helping a bit.


In trials at UC Davis and on five selected farms, they grew Sugar beans, Flor de Mayo, Jacob’s Cattle, Andino and Holsteins. Traditionally, recipes would be offered that masked the flavor of the beans but the whole point of heirlooms is their superior taste and texture so we had a bean cooking day and yours truly got on the soapbox about cooking beans in a simple mirepoix and not much else.


The winner of the day seemed to be the Sugar beans. This is a new world variety that is apparently most popular in Africa. I’m hoping to get some to offer before too long.

4 Comments on Bean Tasting at UC Davis

  1. How can I find some of these beans to grow in my home garden?

  2. Wow, sounds great. Tell us more! What do they taste like? How do they grow? How do you cook them? Were any of them native to our area?

  3. Ack! Why didn’t this happen when I still lived in Davis? Hey, I’d be out there extolling their virtutes for you at the farmer’s market! Oh well, it’s lovely to see and hear about anyway.

  4. This was a very preliminary test. I´ll try and find out the name of the CSAs that grew the beans. I had to leave before eating but my main goal was to show the how to cook the beans. I´m in Mexico now but I´ll be meeting with the team again and try and report back.

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