Rancho Gordo beans - tell me more

Lots of recent references on the WFD threads. I’ve never cooked with these and have questions!!!

  1. Are they available in stores or mail order only?
  2. Do we like them because the flavor/variety is superior to grocery dried beans? Or do we buy RG because it is the type of company (small, local, sustainable, good employee treatment, etc. not agri-biz) that we want to support? For ex, once I had garden grown tomatoes and grapes compared to grocery, I cannot go back (flavorwise). Whereas I could not tell the diff between garden grown and industrial grown broccoli at all.
  3. Which are the RG varieties you would recommend a newbie start trying? I find the taste difference in beans to be very subtle. I.e. to me, a red a black a white mostly taste quite the same, I guess with the kidney/cannelini (sweet) being the most different from the rest and that could be the canning liquid and not the bean even.
  4. Any other interesting RG tidbits?

Thanks!

I’ve only tried the Marcella Hazan canellini beans and 2 types of dried hominy.
They have some heritage varieties that wouldn’t be found in a grocery store. Their beans are fresh compared to some grocery store supplies, which I think means the chance of tough beans is less likely.

That said, I mostly use grocery store beans.

There are some nice recipes on the Rancho Gordo site, and the owner has written some cookbooks. I own the Posole book .

MyPanier is the source we use to buy RG beans. Because RG has a very popular bean club, big waitlist, buying through the site can be challenging.
The beans are heirloom in most cases. They are deliciously fresh.
Our favorites…well, we have enjoyed all of them…and their Mexican oregano.

Note the waitlist. The beans avail are all delicious but MyPanier often has a better supply and choice.

We tried garbanzos the very first time to see what all the fuss was about and I gotta say the hummus was amazingly better made with their dried version vs. grocery store shelf.

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Does mypanier charge a middleman fee? Or are the prices the same whether you buy from there or direct from the RG site?

My P charges $1.00 more per bag. We earn points, get free s/h, buy other items though. YMMV.

I’ll rain on the parade here. Years ago, influenced by all the raving on Chowhound, I bought MANY varieties of RG beans. I noticed no difference, in flavor or in cooked texture, from the dollar bags in the supermarket - other than the high price! The colors of many RG varieties are so pretty, but of course they fade and blur when cooked.

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Lol, parade raining. Love that term.

I like “fun sucker”.

I also think when it comes to beans, maybe even some specialty beans, it depends on what you can get locally.

RG is sort of local.

There is a local place, Winco that I’ve loved for bulk goods and fried chicken, but it’s changed, but I would support what ever they do to survive.

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How about * Burst your bubble** ?

I rec’d 4 different types of spicy mustard recently and someone remarked, "what’s wrong with yellow mustard?

Yep. It’s all a matter of perspective.

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Everyone so cute with their sayings. I don’t know that we have any type of local thing here with beans. The regular dried bags at the grocery for a buck or two per lb. We do have a nice coop with tons of bulk bins, beans included, a fair number of varieties. But I don’t know their progeny. I do know that if you buy 10 lbs of beans at the very beginning of the pandemic and hope to avoid shopping for the next 3 months (you can’t), and take a long time to cook those beans, eventually they become hard as F, and won’t get soft even with a 6 hr boil!!

For me it’s not about the progeny, it’s about turnover and “fresh” dried beans. Does your coop still have bulk bins you scoop from? That’s what I liked about the place Winco I mentioned, but now the bulk stuff is in bags, and I’m less confident about the rapid turnover.

And now it’s also about keeping food folks in buisness.

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I really like RG. They do (or have in the past) had sampler boxes with 6 different types of beans in small packages. It’s a nice way to try different types.

I will say, if you don’t eat a lot of beans and/or cook dried beans regularly … I’m not sure you’ll eat them and say “wow, I need to eat beans every week now”. But if you eat/cook beans regularly I think there is a noticeable difference. YMMV.

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That sounds like a great idea. I’ll keep my eye out. I use a fair amount of dried beans, but also canned.

Here’s a thread with a nice article and some other stuff
Rancho Gordo

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I find RG beans well worth every extra penny! I think the freshness of their dried beans is a big factor. They always cook up creamy an un-burst.

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Just to be clear, samplers are sets of full sized bags, often sold out.

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In stock here

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Thank you. I went on their website and couldn’t even find the samplers. I also found it interesting that right now, they have about 8 varieties available and at least 20 sold out.

Pandemic bean buying.

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RG has over 10k customers in their bean club and an enviable waitlist. Which is why we started ordering from MyPanier.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold