Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yard-long beans

I'm harvesting the first yard-long beans (Vigna unguiculata sub. sesquipedalis) now from the main vegetable garden. They're the 'red noodle' kind, a variant of the regular green ones.

They taste just the same, a nice beany sort of flavor, one of my favorite summer crops. They're easy to cut up and cook (just like snap beans), but there's little stringing or trimming required.

They're definitely hot weather, sub-tropical beans, originating apparently in Africa, and spreading east and west from there.

Another subspecies is cowpea, or black-eyed pea, a bush-type bean grown for shelling. They both thrive here in the humid summers of the Southern U.S.

They have an interesting interaction with ants, which visit their extrafloral nectaries.

1 comment:

  1. What interesting beans - they must look so colourful and lovely when you make them for meals. I've tried black eyed peas a few times, prepared by friends from Texas, and really enjoyed them.


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