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The Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean Grower's Guide: Steve Sando's 50 Favorite Varieties Paperback – May 17, 2011
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About the Author
Sando’s seed saving, bean production, and marketing efforts provide professional and home chefs with heirloom beans that would otherwise have been lost to history. The beans, along with corn, chiles, and tomatoes, have become key ingredients in the new American food revolution centered in Sando’s native San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, Sando and Rancho Gordo were named number two on Saveur Magazine’s “The Saveur 100 list for 2008.” Bon Appetit magazine declared Sando one of the Hot 10 in the food world of 2009. Food + Wine magazine placed Steve “at the forefront of the current seed-saving movement.” Steve’s previous book, with Vanessa Barrington, was Heirloom Beans (Chronicle, 2008).
Steve Sando came to agriculture not from the 4H club but from the grocery store. As a frustrated home cook, he decided to grow the ingredients he wanted in his kitchen. At the forefront of neglected ingredients were beans. Although they are an indigenous product of the Americas, the only beans available commercially to most home cooks were pintos, navies, and kidneys. Discovering heirloom beans to be as rich and varied as heirloom tomatoes, Sando almost singlehandedly created the market for these unique and worthwhile legumes. He now grows more than 25 varieties in California and works with small indigenous farmers in Mexico to import their heirloom beans for the U.S. market. He lives in Napa and travels frequently throughout the Americas collecting beans, friends, and adventures.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have to admit that I didn't buy it. It was a gift from someone that knew I owned Sando's first book ("HEIRLOOM BEANS - Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas") and loved it. I'll also admit that I probably would not have bought a book called "Bean Grower's Guide." I'm not a gardener and, from the title, thought that this new book had nothing for me. I could not have been more mistaken.
Have you ever bought a guidebook to a new destination, expecting nothing but dry prose, facts and statistics, names, places, dates, directions, only to discover to your delight that, instead, it's chockfull of clever writing, witty insights and charming stories? That has been my happy surprise with this book. It is a guidebook, of sorts, to a world that I didn't really know even existed. I was raised on a very few varieties of canned beans, none of which I liked much: red kidney beans, limas, pintos. Beyond that, well, as Sando himself says in the introduction "Who knew?"
Last night, as an example, I prepared a big pot of Christmas Lima Beans. They were nothing like those dreaded little wrinkled green half-circles of pasty pap that my mother had to threaten me to eat (and that I noticed she never ate herself). She said they were "good for me." Good for me, they may have been. Good to me, they decidedly were not. Compare that to the Christmas Lima Beans I cooked last night.Read more ›
While my religious choices do not include eating pork, there are still myriad choices of recipes and methods to try, and most importantly, he gives you each beans' best style of preparation ( soup, refried, salad, etc) so you can get the maximum flavor outcome.
I'm ready to order some fresh heirlooms and cook! ( and btw, he includes sources other than himself- showing his genuine dedication to the heirloom cause)
This book is worth the price. I would like to find a few more varieties to grow. It inspired me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
No real information on how to grow beans, just a fancy list of beans and their historyPublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Learned alot about different beans and it inspired us to try some new varieties. It also helped us decided on varieties to plant in our garden. Lots of information.Published 1 month ago by B. Sparks
great book...so much I didn't know about beans...great recipesPublished 19 months ago by motown lover
This books seemed really short. I can tell that Steve Sando is very passionate about beans, he lovingly describes many varieties. Read morePublished on May 22, 2013 by Liz