Tomato aficionados, as you undoubtedly know, hold "tastings" each summer. Would an analogous type of get together with a leguminous theme interest beanophiles? What are the pros and cons? Just wondering.
I think tomatoes are easier to judge, because they are eaten commonly uncooked. Of course some exceptions for example paste tomatoes.
I have always cooked my beans in some form before eating them, thus the cooking method and spices would need to be considered when evaluating their flavor and textures. Steamed beans are good, but I need to add something to spice them.
You cook a bunch up though and I am there!
Dean, I think you have pointed out the greatest difference between a tomato tasting and a potential bean tasting. Also, beans are far more diverse than tomatoes. Beans come in different species, different stages of harvest and, as you say, different cooking methods. How to accommodate all of that in a tasting is the big question. It would have to be much different from a tomato tasting. Maybe the concept of a tasting is all wrong. Maybe it should be a bean festival, bean swap or some other thing. This will require some creative thinking.
A couple possible names:
Bean Bonanza. Root-toot-touille.
Pro: Imagine all the bean dishes!!!
Cons: No smoking. Caged canaries for early warning.
Jim, you had me at hello. ;-) Unfortunately, except for a few of us, beans don't seem to generate the same quasi-religious fervor as tomatoes. A question of color, perhaps... tomatoes are more decorative. Nor do you see bean growers compete for the earliest bean, or the largest. But then, various tomatoes stuffed in mason jars wouldn't be nearly as attractive as dried beans.
Given the broad diversity of legumes, I can't figure out why there are so few social functions dedicated to them. Maybe it's a matter of critical mass, or a violation of fire codes, if too many "beanies" gather together in one place. Yes, to be a bean lover is to live in a state of self-imposed exile (or social expulsion).
But seriously... in the Northeast & Southwest, there is enough interest in beans that it just might work. For the rest of us, we'll just have to get together here. :-)
"Blazing Saddles" and "Caged canaries for early warning" LOL!
We did have some bean, and pepper too, tasting at the Buffalo-Niagara party. Not on a large scale and there was no voting, but it was nice that people brought other homegrown items besides their tomatoes.
Contests for beans cooked alone with maybe spices and oil/butter only, and in various dishes would be the start of a party. If you've got good food, people show up : )
I had an informal bean tasting today. I cooked up a batch of Dragon Tongue, Fortex, Jumbo, and Rattlesnake for lunch with my grandma. We concluded that all were tasty.
I LOVE this idea (not the gassy aftermath, although held outside might work--as long as there is not a fire code violation involving grills or fire pits--LOL!!!!!) Of course, the gas is more of an issue with the shellies than with snaps :D
I'll just brong some of my beans (and maters too, of course) to the Buffalo/Niagara party, as it is less than 50 miles away from me!
Great idea to bring the beans! : )
There ya go! Beanophiles are about to evangelize the Buffalo/Niagara tomato group. Tomatoes are good, of course, but beans are so much more diverse and versatile.