or eaten them as string beans in the early stages?
Yes!They are great as snaps and Shelly's! I like the Shelly's much better than dried. For snaps I pick them when they are very young.
Find seed of Red Swan and give it a try.
I grew them as string beans & when they dried on the vine, because I had eaten & frozen my fill, I eat them as shelly beans.
Did not know what shelly was in those days, just called them dry beans.