Cranberry Bean

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A dry shelled bean that grows within a large, knobby beige pod with patches of red running throughout the length of the bean pod. Very common in Italian cooking where it is referred to as a Borlotti bean, the Cranberry bean must be shelled before cooking. This procedure can easily be accomplished by splitting open the curved inside seam on the bean pod. Once the pod is open, cream-colored beans with red spots and streaks are readily exposed.

Mild in flavor, the Cranberry Bean provides a creamy textured meat with a delicious nutlike flavor that has been compared to the taste of chestnuts. If the bean is fresh, it does not need to be soaked prior to cooking. However, if dried, they should be soaked. The Cranberry Bean should be cooked in simmering water or stock for approximately 30 minutes until tender. After being cooked, the red color of the bean tends to fade. Cranberry Beans can be combined with vegetables to make a bean side dish or added to soups and stews. For storage, keep fresh beans refrigerated and use within a week. In addition to being known as a Borlotti bean, the Cranberry Bean may also be referred to as a Crab Eye, Fagiolo Romano, Roman, Rosecoco Saluggia, or Salugia bean. It is a close relative to the Tongues of Fire bean that has a shape and appearance that is similar. Pinto beans can be used as substitutes or if necessary red kidney beans can also be substituted but are not as flavorful.

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