Borlotti Beans

Borlotti have to be my favourite beans.  I love them in stews and soups, but mostly I love them for how pretty they are.  The pods are a beautiful colour and peeling them open, once fully developed, reveals beans that look like jewels or little birds eggs.  

Really they should be treated as an ornamental plant.  The shrubs that they grown on are small and require no support (no bean poles necessary), and they're not the sort of beans that produce all season long.  These are strictly one crop per plant, and you need to grow many plants to make a decent meal's worth of beans.

The below are Borlotto Firetongue Beans.  It took patience and experience to figure out that the beans inside are ready when the outer shell starts to shrivel and look ugly.  If you pick these too soon the beans will be underdeveloped - green and starchy.  You'll notice that I am holding a mix of beans that are ready, and beans that could have done with a little more time.  At any rate, they were all delicious once mixed into my meatball soup.


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