BEAN: a vegetable which appears to have been cultivated long before the coin mencemfent of recorded history and in one variety or another to flourish in every part of the world. It was well known to the ancient Egyptains and Grecians—and when the first voyagers reached the Western continent they found that here also the growing of beans, and peas, had apparently always been a common industry among the natives—their preparation of beans and corn is perpetuated in "succotash." The bean of European history is the Broad or Windsor variety, with broad curved pods, containing thick bulging seeds of distinct and agreeable flavor. It is largely grown in Europe and Canada but is not an important crop in the United States as the cli mate is not suitable for its best growth.
The principal beans of United States cultivation are the Kidney and Lima, both of them believed to be native to South America.
The Kidney Bean is the Haricot of the French and in Great Britain is sometimes called the French Bean. There are a great many varieties, capable of general classi fication into "tough podded" and "edible podded." The "tough podded" class produces the bulk of the dried beans of commerce, ously known as "Kidney Beans," "Navy Beans," "Marrow Beans," "Black Beans," etc., in many colors. shapes and sizes. "Black" or "Turtle" - 1 - J. - Beans, grown chiefly in the Southern States, make an especially rich and excellent soup. Some varieties, as "Flageolets," are cultivated with special regard to the consumption of the fresh seeds or beans.
To the "edible-podded" class belong the numerous types of "Wax" or "Butter" beans, eaten fresh at all stages of development. The "Cranberry Bean" or "Red Speckled Bean," both shell and beans spotted or other wise marked with red, is a variety cultivated principally in New England and popular there for making succo tash.
String Beans, Snap Beans, French Beans are imma ture pods of numerous kinds of Kidney beans. The best have little or no "string." They should be so young that the seeds are barely visible and should be marketed as quickly as possible after ft buying see that they are Crisp and tender when broken—toughness or limpness is a sign of too great age or overlong keeping.
String beans are kept for winter use by salting, both for home use and retailing. They are a popular winter vegetable among Germans. Before cooking, they are soaked in water over night to remove the salt.
Canned String Beans, described for quality as "Stringless," "Fancy," etc., are graded by size as "extra small," "small," etc. "Haricots Verts" are French string beans.
Lima Beans are flat, slightly kidney-shaped, and generally wrinkled or fluted. They are very popular, both fresh and dried, the green seeded types being considered the choicest. When dried, they serve as an agreeable winter food, soaked before cooking.
Pea Reaps are the C'otupefts of the agriculturist, but they belong to the bean family in spite of that title. They are grown in many varieties, bearing seeds of different styles and colors. Their principal use is as a forage plant and soil fertilizer, but considerable quantities are dried for winter use. They are cooked like other dried beans and have •very pleasing flavor.
Among numerous other "special" varieties are the Soy Bean ( which see), Aspara gus Bean, Frijole, Lab-lab, Red Bean and Scarlet Runner.
Asparagus Beans take their name from the great length of their pods, which aver age twelve inches or more in length and in some varieties even exceed a length of three feet. By Chinese gardeners in California they are known as "Tou Kok." The seeds are small but the green pods make an excellent "Snap" bean. They are used only to a limited extent in the United States, principally by the Chinese and other resi dents of Oriental birth or extraction, but they are beginning to find favor also among the white residents of California. They have long been cultivated in Europe.
Frijole Beans are a small fiat variety, generally of a reddish brown or light tan color, very common, both "green" and dried, in the Southwest and Mexico.