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Know your Haricot bean

  • Haricot beans, Phaseolus vulgaris, fagioli, navy beans, pea beans and yankee beans,  are small, oval, plump and creamy-white with a mild flavour and smooth, buttery texture. 
  • In the US, they are known as navy beans and are the classic ingredient in Boston baked beans
  • Haricot beans are widely used in the cooking of countries such as France, Spain, Portugal and South America. 
  • With little flavour of their own, they absorb other aromas and flavours easily, which makes them popular beans to use in bean salads, vegetable soups, slow-cooked dishes such as cassoulet or bean purées.

Know your Haricot bean - Varieties

Filet bean

  • The Filet beans (Haricot Vert) Phaseolus vulgaris are thinner than other beans, not just an ordinary snap picked while still immature. 
  • However, they are not considered a separate species. 
  • Basically, thin, relatively short beans. 
  • Other than that, they are like any other pole (or bush) snap bean.
  • Classic French filet beans usually have a string and must be harvested young. 
  • Recent developments have eliminated the string in most varieties. 
  • For best flavour, harvest very young - under 0.6cm (1/4 inch) thick.

Masai Bush Filet Bean

  • This very popular baby French filet bean is one of the most popular in Europe. 
  • Very good and flavourful beans are borne on bushes that have small leaves making it easy to pick. 
  • The pods are 4 inches long and a nice green colour. 
  • It is very disease resistant and has a white seed.

Maxibel Filet Bean

  • A fancy-type 'classic French filet' bean with very long, 7-1/2" extremely thin (only 1/4" across), dark green pods. 
  • Flavourful and attractive black beans fill the pods all season long. 
  • It is stringless - the first 'classic filet' bean with that attribute.

Nickel Filet Bean

  • Classic, petite French filet bean. 
  • Remarkable tolerance to both hot and cold growing conditions. 
  • Stringless pods have a consistent deep green colour and are slow to develop seeds. 
  • Compact plants with strong, upright branches and good disease resistance. 
  • For the absolute best tasting beans, harvest every other day and pick them when they are 10cm long and 1.25cm diameter (4" and 1/2").

Straight 'N Narrow Filet Bean

  • Petite, straight, dark green and tasty. 
  • Sturdy, upright, 18" bush-type plants produce an abundant yield of slender, round 5" long beans. 
  • A strong growing plant, requiring little care.
  • The beans are easy to pick as they stand out against the foliage. 
  • These beans are usually served whole. 
  • Delightful steamed and perfect in Salad Nicoise.

Teseo Filet Bean

  • European French filet bean with round, pencil-slim very straight 5" pods with delectable flavour and elegant appearance. 
  • Harvest the dark green pods when only about 0.6cm (1/4") in diameter for the best flavour. 
  • Exquisitely tender with a delicate flavour and texture. 
  • Upright, medium bush-type plants offer a long harvest window due to slow seed development. 
  • White seeded.

Goldito Filet Bean

  • An early French filet bean variety that has the perfect size beans for preparing and serving without cutting. 
  • The pods are  4 1/2 to 5 inches in length and capture the subtle buttery flavour of a wax bean. 
  • The vigorous plants produce an abundance of pods evenly distributed throughout making them easy to pick by the handfuls.

Great Northern bean

  • The great northern bean is a large white bean that resembles a lima bean in shape with a delicate distinctive flavor.
  • These beans have a very mild flavour, thin skins, and a velvety texture when cooked. 
  • They readily absorb the flavours of added spices and herbs. 
  • They’re a popular ingredient in Mediterranean dishes and in French cassoulet. 
  • They need to soak for a minimum of four hours.
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