- The Plate
Heirloom Beans Are a Thing, But Do They Really Taste Better Than Bulk Beans?
So it’s come to this—heirloom beans. Long-forgotten breeds are showing up in tortillas, soups, and Instagram posts across the country. They’ve achieved the coveted trifecta of cool: celebrity endorsements, podcast mentions, and celebrity chef endorsements.
But can you actually taste the difference between a dried heritage bean and the kind you buy in bulk at the grocery store?
Steve Sando says you can. He’s the president and founder of California-based Rancho Gordo, one of the leading purveyors of heirloom beans. Sando, who sold crops for years at farmers markets “got serious about heirloom beans” in 2012. (Heirloom beans are the legume equivalent of other heirloom crops; they’re interesting-looking, lesser-known varieties that are allegedly more flavorful, but not as easy