If you’ve been to our stand at the farmers market recently then you may be confused by our October beans. Yes, we have October beans in July. How can that be? It’s all in a name. October beans are also known as borlotti beans, cranberry beans, Roman beans or romano beans. Like many other vegetables, October beans are called different names depending where you’re from.
These beans are not really having an identity crisis, they just have a few aliases.
Here’s some tips about October (borlotti) beans:
- Look for pods that have bulging beans. Don’t pick the flat ones.
- The beans in the fall should be cream with the same red/pink striping as the pods. However, in the summer it is not unusual for some to be mostly green. Again look for pods that look like they have nice size beans in them.
- You really have to shell them. The pod is inedible at this stage. I would leave them in their shell until I wanted to cook them.
Don’t shell them at the stand. As you can see they roll away pretty easily.
- In doing research I’ve discovered that cooking time varies from website to website. The shortest cook time was 20 minutes. I suggest you take one out and see if that is the texture you want. You can always cook them a little longer.
But now is the time to take advantage of these beans in their freshest form. Of course they will be back in October.
Here’s a link to a tasty recipe using fresh borlotti beans:
Borlotti Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil
They are also tasty in soups.