Information about Legumes: French, Haricot, or Kidney Beans

About French Haricot or kidney beans, information on the legumes, uses and production, history and location in the world.

French, Haricot, or Kidney Bean

This is the 2nd most important bean in the world. Brazil, China, and the U.S. produce more than half of the world's supply of kidney beans. In the U.S., California, Michigan, Idaho, and Colorado lead in the dry bean production. The kidney bean in the U.S. refers to the red to dark red ones. Pinto beans are white with brown spots and are used extensively in Mexico for frijole dishes. Another familiar variety is the white navy bean used for Boston baked beans. These are just a few of about 500 varieties. Dry kidney beans are very rich in protein and carbohydrates. They may be eaten as a substitute for meat. The pods of the French bean can be eaten, although they are inclined to be stringy. Green shell beans--such as stringless or snap beans, and wax beans--are a good source of energy and are rich in vitamin A. To cook dry beans, heat the water to boiling and then drop the beans in slowly so the water does not cease boiling. Don't add salt--this prolongs the cooking time. It is not actually necessary to soak dried beans overnight; if, however, you do soak them, be sure to cook the beans in the same water.

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