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Pebble Beans

Written By Culinary Pen on Saturday, August 20, 2011 | 11:40:00 AM

Although it's been a long time since I've bought magical beans, these come pretty close. They look like a regular mix of beans, the amazing thing is that they all come from the same plant! Apparently a farmer in California found these growing on the edge of his property back in the 70's. The same plant produces an entire bean kaleidoscope of shapes, sizes, and shades. I haven't found a ton of information on them, so I'm not sure if it's a recent mutation, or just something that was overlooked or forgotten in the annals of bean history.
What I like about them is that they all cook at the same time, which is hard with bean mixes. Usually the supplier just blends a bunch of beans together, so the small ones overcook to mush, the medium-sized ones are perfect, and the big ones are underdone. But since these beans are all from the same plant, they cook evenly. I'm not totally sure why, as you'd think a bigger bean would take longer, no matter what. Yet it works!
Plus they look beautiful. Sadly some of the vibrancy fades after cooking, but they still have a nice, full flavor, and a smooth texture. They're also a great sop-up for the tomato sauce from braised oxtails and chiles.
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