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Rancho Gordo [type] beans

Rancho Gordo [type] beans
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  • Rancho Gordo [type] beans

    Post #1 - October 4th, 2016, 6:50 pm
    Post #1 - October 4th, 2016, 6:50 pm Post #1 - October 4th, 2016, 6:50 pm
    I see from Rancho Gordo's website that there are now 2 places in Cook County* [and 2 in DuPage] where I can buy their heirloom beans retail.

    Does anyone know of a bean source that sells heirloom/specialty beans at a less premium price? I'd be interested in cooking beans that are a step above Goya or Hurst or 'store brand' but not quite as expensive as Rancho Gordo.

    Giovanna

    *Southport Grocery and Hewn https://www.ranchogordo.com/apps/store-locator
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #2 - October 4th, 2016, 7:44 pm
    Post #2 - October 4th, 2016, 7:44 pm Post #2 - October 4th, 2016, 7:44 pm
    You get what you pay for. Rancho Gordo heirloom beans are, by a wide margin, the best dry, heirloom beans you can buy. I've probably cooked 60 pounds of them (dozens of varieties, 1 pound at a time) over the past 2 years and they're consistently excellent every time out. And I've been a loyal customer for over 10 years. The few times I've strayed, I've regretted it. Just order them off their website. This direct-order method is a great way to be sure the beans you're buying haven't been sitting around forever. When you buy dry beans at a store, you just have no idea about this.

    When you order $75 or more (which I do a couple of times a year), shipping's free. If your order is under $75, it's a flat rate of $12. Given the quality and all the varieties offered (some exclusively via RG), there's just no better option.

    https://www.ranchogordo.com/

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #3 - October 5th, 2016, 5:36 pm
    Post #3 - October 5th, 2016, 5:36 pm Post #3 - October 5th, 2016, 5:36 pm
    My wife can't believe that I'm willing to pay $5/lb for beans. "What are you thinking???!!" she asks. But these are such excellent beans that they're well worth it. I'm soaking some little tiny white beans (forget their name) even as we speak.

    What turns out to be pleasing is how different in taste, texture, etc. each of these heirloom varieties turn out to be.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #4 - October 5th, 2016, 7:22 pm
    Post #4 - October 5th, 2016, 7:22 pm Post #4 - October 5th, 2016, 7:22 pm
    OK, so I think what I'm hearing is "Nance, don't be so frickin' cheap. They're good, they're worth it."

    Giovanna

    [I'm still open to other ideas, but I hear the core message. That said, $75 is a lot of beans for a 1 woman, 1 cat household. And the cat doesn't eat beans. He does, however, LOVE prosciutto. PM me if you want to go in on a shipment. It's the beginning of soup season!]
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #5 - October 5th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    Post #5 - October 5th, 2016, 7:48 pm Post #5 - October 5th, 2016, 7:48 pm
    A few weeks ago I had ayocote beans prepared by Jonathan Zaragoza. Big, beautiful beans. You can get them from Rancho Gordo for $5.95 per pound or from Cremería La Ordeña, as Jonathan does, for less than half that price. I'll be checking out their other bean offerings too.

    I'm a big fan of beans and like Rancho Gordo as well. They carry certain things you simply can't find elsewhere and their quality is high. Unfortunately, so are their prices. I buy most of my beans locally, paying a fraction of what Rancho Gordo charges, and am almost never disappointed. The key is patronizing stores that have good turnover. Old beans aren't worth buying. Many of my purchases are from the following three stores. I'm not saying these are the best or only places to go, only that I'm almost always happy with them.

    Pete's Fresh Market for mayocoba beans (a very versatile legume) and humble (not to mention very cheap) pintos. I also buy Verde Valle small brown lentils at Pete's. These hold their shape after cooking, instead of turning to mush like most supermarket lentils.

    Sanabel Bakery for large fava beans, skinless small favas, medium brown ful and cannellini beans (better, though pricier, cannellini beans can be found at Graziano's). I've been happy with these items from other stores in the neighborhood as well, but am often at Sanabel for other things.

    Patel Brothers for chickpeas (black chickpeas—kala chana—are an interesting relative), kidney beans (and smaller rajma), black-eyed peas and many other Indian legumes and pulses. There are so many beans and lentils to explore here.
  • Post #6 - October 5th, 2016, 10:48 pm
    Post #6 - October 5th, 2016, 10:48 pm Post #6 - October 5th, 2016, 10:48 pm
    This article lists a couple alternative mail-order places: Lompoc, which is certainly less expensive and Purcell Mountain Farms, which is marginally cheaper.

    I also ran across Zursun, but it seems they don't sell direct from their website (and have no distribution in Illinois). They do point you here to etail but it doesn't seem to be any cheaper than RG.

    I also found Elegant Beans, but it is in the same price range.

    I suspect you can locate additional sellers if you continue to search.

    Things I've learned:
    -The boutique-y, heirloom/organic places seem to occupy a niche in the market and they are charging what the market will bear.
    -Apparently Idaho produces a lot of beans.

    You might be hoping to see an answer like "always go to Supermarket X. Bulk and bean turnover is amazingly high, the quality is great, the prices are low, and I've never been disappointed."

    I don't have that magic combination to offer. I buy most beans from bulk dispensers (like Dill Pickle Coop or Whole Foods) or at places where I suspect there is decent turnover (like Mexican markets) - all depending on the type of beans. I try to buy beans that look good (though that certainly is no guarantee of quality) and I've rarely been disappointed with my bean cookery.
  • Post #7 - October 5th, 2016, 10:56 pm
    Post #7 - October 5th, 2016, 10:56 pm Post #7 - October 5th, 2016, 10:56 pm
    Oh, I will also say that I have seen some more heirloom varieties in the bulk section at the big Whole Foods on Kingsbury: European soldier beans, mayacoba (though you'll find these at most Mexican super markets), yellow eye, etc.

    If memory serves, they run more like $2.95-$3.95/lb. So if you have a large store near you, you can check that out. But of course, you have no idea how fast they are turning over inventory.

    Again, when soaked and cooked, it's been rare in my experience that a batch (regardless of source) just doesn't turn out.
  • Post #8 - October 6th, 2016, 9:54 am
    Post #8 - October 6th, 2016, 9:54 am Post #8 - October 6th, 2016, 9:54 am
    gastro gnome wrote:Again, when soaked and cooked, it's been rare in my experience that a batch (regardless of source) just doesn't turn out.

    That's what I love about the RG beans. You never have to soak them to make a successful batch, which is great if, like me, you often decide at the last minute you want to make beans.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #9 - October 6th, 2016, 10:05 am
    Post #9 - October 6th, 2016, 10:05 am Post #9 - October 6th, 2016, 10:05 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    gastro gnome wrote:Again, when soaked and cooked, it's been rare in my experience that a batch (regardless of source) just doesn't turn out.

    That's what I love about the RG beans. You never have to soak them to make a successful batch, which is great if, like me, you often decide at the last minute you want to make beans.

    =R=


    I've never heard of beans you could do that with before. That's been your experience too?
  • Post #10 - October 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
    Post #10 - October 6th, 2016, 10:29 am Post #10 - October 6th, 2016, 10:29 am
    I buy beans from Three Sisters at the Green City Market and they've also recommended not soaking the beans. Rancho Gordo's site says that fresh (i.e. less than two years old) beans don't need to be soaked, though they may take a little longer to cook than soaked beans.

    I also use my pressure cooker. Beans go from dry to cooked in 20-25 minutes.

    This thread also nudged me to finally put in Rancho Gordo order, which I had been meaning to do for a while.
  • Post #11 - October 6th, 2016, 10:31 am
    Post #11 - October 6th, 2016, 10:31 am Post #11 - October 6th, 2016, 10:31 am
    gastro gnome wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    gastro gnome wrote:Again, when soaked and cooked, it's been rare in my experience that a batch (regardless of source) just doesn't turn out.

    That's what I love about the RG beans. You never have to soak them to make a successful batch, which is great if, like me, you often decide at the last minute you want to make beans.

    =R=


    I've never heard of beans you could do that with before. That's been your experience too?

    Well, by last minute, I mean 2-3 hours ahead of when I want them. But I cannot remember the last time I soaked dried beans before cooking them. It's been years. Of course, you can also work around that entire scenario with a pressure cooker.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #12 - October 6th, 2016, 1:05 pm
    Post #12 - October 6th, 2016, 1:05 pm Post #12 - October 6th, 2016, 1:05 pm
    I joined the Rancho Gordo bean club - random shipment of 6 beans plus one "other" item every 3 months. It seems like a lot of beans, but if you cook beans even only once every other week you will use them up before the next shipment. In general I cook something with the beans, eat it once for dinner, maybe twice for lunch, then freeze whatever is left.
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #13 - October 6th, 2016, 1:59 pm
    Post #13 - October 6th, 2016, 1:59 pm Post #13 - October 6th, 2016, 1:59 pm
    I just tried to join bean club and it is sold out for now. Provided email and will be notified when I can order. Great web site, makes you want to spend $100 on beans!
  • Post #14 - October 8th, 2016, 12:43 pm
    Post #14 - October 8th, 2016, 12:43 pm Post #14 - October 8th, 2016, 12:43 pm
    Like many in the thread above, I'm a big fan of Rancho Gordo. I have a pound of their caballeros (a smallish Peruvian bean) soaking right now. But there are other choices locally for good dried beans from Michigan. I like the beans from Carlson-Arbogast Farm that I've seen stocked at Local Foods in 2 lb bags. I think their black beans are as flavorful as any I've had from Rancho Gordo, and that's very good. You won't see a huge selection of their products, but I've tried the cannellini, black, mayocoba, and cranberry beans. Big improvement over the commodity dried beans usually found in markets.
  • Post #15 - October 9th, 2016, 5:01 pm
    Post #15 - October 9th, 2016, 5:01 pm Post #15 - October 9th, 2016, 5:01 pm
    It's great to know about some of these alternate sources. I'm usually well-stocked for beans but it never hurts to have a back-up.

    Today I made my just-about-weekly pot of Rancho Gordo beans. This week: Red Nightfall, which I really love. Total cooking time was about 2.5 hours for unsoaked beans. I love these beans because in addition to having a great, earthy flavor, after they cook, the skins maintain their structural integrity but the interiors have a creamy texture.

    As is my SOP with the RG beans, I went totally vegan on this batch, using tap water for the cooking medium. I started with a bit of olive oil in which I sauteed 1 carrot, 1 celery stalk, a medium onion's worth of shallots (all finely chopped) and 4 cloves of minced garlic. After all that sweated in the pot for a few minutes, I added the beans, the cold water (to about 2 inches above the surface of the beans), dropped in 3 bay leaves, a couple tablespoons of fresh, minced parsley, 2 whole jalapenos and 2 whole serranos (with lengthwise slits in each) a few grinds of black pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt. I brought it to a boil, reduced to a simmer and let it cook, uncovered, until the beans were tender on the inside, about 2.5 hours.

    Now, I'll eat them throughout the week - sometimes for breakfast, sometimes for lunch and sometimes for dinner. One of my favorite quick ways to eat them is heated up with a couple of buttery over-easy eggs and maybe some grated sharp cheese on top of them.

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #16 - October 11th, 2016, 9:24 am
    Post #16 - October 11th, 2016, 9:24 am Post #16 - October 11th, 2016, 9:24 am
    Have been meaning to order RG beans for years, but never pulled the trigger. Will do it now.

    Ronnie, thanks for cooking tip.
  • Post #17 - October 17th, 2016, 3:46 pm
    Post #17 - October 17th, 2016, 3:46 pm Post #17 - October 17th, 2016, 3:46 pm
    Picked up a bag of Brown's Best mayocoba beans at Pete's. Soaked overnight, simmered for a few hours and had a tasty lunch of mayocoba beans, requeson and poached egg.

    Thank you to posters in this thread for highlighting less known types of beans.

    Beans6.JPG Mayocoba beans, requeson, poached egg = lunch.
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #18 - October 17th, 2016, 6:54 pm
    Post #18 - October 17th, 2016, 6:54 pm Post #18 - October 17th, 2016, 6:54 pm
    Received our first RG order on Saturday.

    Yesterday we made the Ayocote Morado's using the Rajma recipe in the main dishe recipe section of the RG site and the beans were fabulous. Very meaty and a great creamy texture. I wound up increasing the spices after tasting throughout the cooking process. Served over brown brown basmati rice with a mixed green/pomegranate salad.

    Ordered 13 different beans to get the free shipping, which is like getting two bags of beans free. For $77 this will yield a LOT of great meals. If they are all like the ayocote morado, worth a couple extra bucks a bag. Ordering direct to assure the freshness seems like a no brainer.
  • Post #19 - October 26th, 2016, 4:55 pm
    Post #19 - October 26th, 2016, 4:55 pm Post #19 - October 26th, 2016, 4:55 pm
    So, I wander down to the freezer to take out a quart of soup. Grab a bean soup.

    First serving of it I eat, I think to myself . . . "Wow, the beans in this are really good."

    Second serving . . . "These beans are really good. Is this the batch I made with . . . ?"

    So, yeah, I just ordered some Rancho Gordo beans.

    That said, I really appreciated the other leads and will check them out. Lots of beans this winter!

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #20 - October 26th, 2016, 7:26 pm
    Post #20 - October 26th, 2016, 7:26 pm Post #20 - October 26th, 2016, 7:26 pm
    I love everything beans, and made some baked beans with RG, which were amazing. I really hope some stores around Chicagoland start selling this brand. Please post if you find any around our neck of the woods. Thanks!
  • Post #21 - October 26th, 2016, 8:46 pm
    Post #21 - October 26th, 2016, 8:46 pm Post #21 - October 26th, 2016, 8:46 pm
    Hewn Artisan Breads, in Evanston (just off the Dempster Street Purple Line El Stop) sells a selection of RG beans.
  • Post #22 - October 28th, 2016, 11:39 am
    Post #22 - October 28th, 2016, 11:39 am Post #22 - October 28th, 2016, 11:39 am
    Southport Grocery also has them.
    http://www.southportgrocery.com/

    Southport Grocery
    3552 N Southport, Chicago, IL
    Leek

    SAVING ONE DOG may not change the world,
    but it CHANGES THE WORLD for that one dog.
    American Brittany Rescue always needs foster homes. Please think about helping that one dog. http://www.americanbrittanyrescue.org
  • Post #23 - October 31st, 2016, 9:05 pm
    Post #23 - October 31st, 2016, 9:05 pm Post #23 - October 31st, 2016, 9:05 pm
    Made another excellent batch of RG beans yesterday. This time Flor de Junio. Cooked them for just basic beans, no special recipe, and very similar to how Ronnie does. No soak and they were done fairly quickly, don't remember exactly, but about 3 hours???
  • Post #24 - November 1st, 2016, 8:52 am
    Post #24 - November 1st, 2016, 8:52 am Post #24 - November 1st, 2016, 8:52 am
    Standard Market in Westmont (and presumably Naperville as well) has Rancho Gordo beans - about a half dozen varieties. $5.95 for a 1 lb bag. After reading the raves here I went ahead and got some basic midnight black beans and some pintos, and cooked upa pot of the black beans - first time I'd ever cooked beans from dried, in fact. Turned out quite well, though I'm sure I'll be able to improve my technique...
  • Post #25 - November 1st, 2016, 3:08 pm
    Post #25 - November 1st, 2016, 3:08 pm Post #25 - November 1st, 2016, 3:08 pm
    Rene G wrote:A few weeks ago I had ayocote beans prepared by Jonathan Zaragoza. Big, beautiful beans. You can get them from Rancho Gordo for $5.95 per pound or from Cremería La Ordeña, as Jonathan does, for less than half that price.

    That's wrong. I had my bean varieties confused. At La Ordeña, ayocote beans (they carry ayocotes morados and a tri-color mix) are $3.99 per pound, so two-thirds of Rancho Gordo's price.

    Image

    With the exception of large favas, ayocotes are the most expensive beans at La Ordeña. Other interesting beans are even more of a bargain, such as the striking frijol vaquero ($0.99 versus $5.95 from Rancho Gordo).

    Image

    Here are La Ordeña's legume and grain offerings, arranged according to size.

    Image

    Their beans and corn are displayed in serve-yourself sacks, so buying small samples isn't a problem. The following photo shows less than half the selection (at Pulaski, though both stores have similar stock), the best in Chicago that I'm aware of.

    Image

    Even for those with little interest in beans, Cremería La Ordeña is very much worth a visit.

    Cremería La Ordeña #1
    5958 S Pulaski Rd
    Chicago

    Cremería La Ordeña #2
    3810 W Lawrence Av
    Chicago
  • Post #26 - November 12th, 2016, 5:00 pm
    Post #26 - November 12th, 2016, 5:00 pm Post #26 - November 12th, 2016, 5:00 pm
    Choey wrote:Like many in the thread above, I'm a big fan of Rancho Gordo. I have a pound of their caballeros (a smallish Peruvian bean) soaking right now. But there are other choices locally for good dried beans from Michigan. I like the beans from Carlson-Arbogast Farm that I've seen stocked at Local Foods in 2 lb bags. I think their black beans are as flavorful as any I've had from Rancho Gordo, and that's very good. You won't see a huge selection of their products, but I've tried the cannellini, black, mayocoba, and cranberry beans. Big improvement over the commodity dried beans usually found in markets.


    I was at Local Foods today and they no only had the 2 lb bags, but also had the Carlson-Arbogast beans in bulk. There were cannellini, navy, black, cranberry, pinto, and mayacoba beans available in bulk, with fewer available in 2 lb bags.
  • Post #27 - January 12th, 2017, 1:30 pm
    Post #27 - January 12th, 2017, 1:30 pm Post #27 - January 12th, 2017, 1:30 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Today I made my just-about-weekly pot of Rancho Gordo beans. This week: Red Nightfall, which I really love.


    Ronnie - you gave every measurement except for the beans you're cooking :) What's the amount of beans that you normally do this with?
  • Post #28 - January 12th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    Post #28 - January 12th, 2017, 1:37 pm Post #28 - January 12th, 2017, 1:37 pm
    Kid Charlemagne wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Today I made my just-about-weekly pot of Rancho Gordo beans. This week: Red Nightfall, which I really love.


    Ronnie - you gave every measurement except for the beans you're cooking :) What's the amount of beans that you normally do this with?

    Sorry - I always use a whole bag . . . so, 1 pound. :oops:

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #29 - January 12th, 2017, 2:22 pm
    Post #29 - January 12th, 2017, 2:22 pm Post #29 - January 12th, 2017, 2:22 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Kid Charlemagne wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Today I made my just-about-weekly pot of Rancho Gordo beans. This week: Red Nightfall, which I really love.


    Ronnie - you gave every measurement except for the beans you're cooking :) What's the amount of beans that you normally do this with?

    Sorry - I always use a whole bag . . . so, 1 pound. :oops:

    =R=


    :D That's kind of what i was guessing - I'm new to the "beans from scratch" crowd so I don't have much framework around which to make inferences, but it's one of the things I want to develop (and I think I'll be giving it a shot this weekend - but only half a pound probably, as I'm only cooking for myself).
  • Post #30 - March 1st, 2017, 10:08 pm
    Post #30 - March 1st, 2017, 10:08 pm Post #30 - March 1st, 2017, 10:08 pm
    Here's a very nice piece (with video) about Black Bean Soup and RG, posted by Julia Moskin at the NYT's website:

    Start asking food people how to make the best black bean soup, and all roads will quickly lead to Steve Sando.

    Very few can claim the title “celebrity bean grower,” but Mr. Sando of Rancho Gordo in Napa, Calif., is just that. He began by raising beans in his home garden, and was immediately impressed (and overwhelmed) by their high yield. To manage the overflow, he began selling them at the farmers’ market in nearby Yountville. (Sharp-eyed food lovers will see where this is headed.) Yountville is home to the famed restaurant the French Laundry; Mr. Sando’s beans found their way into the hands of its chef, Thomas Keller. The rest is history.

    Rediscovering Black Bean Soup

    =R=
    I am not interested in how I would evaluate the Springbank in a blind tasting. Every spirit has its story, and I include it in my evaluation, just as I do with human beings. --Thad Vogler

    I'll be the tastiest pork cutlet bowl ever --Yuri Katsuki

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

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