Tarbais beans

The weather will soon be turning cooler and I’m determined to make cassoulet this fall. The problem is finding any Tarbais beans from a Canadian source. I know Rancho Gordo ships to Canada (30 USD per order) but it would be nice to spend the extra $ on product instead of FedEx since Fx has gouged me on shipping cost in the past.

Does anyone know of a seller in Canada?

1 Like

I need to be schooled. What’s the distinctive taste profile of this bean that can’t be substituted? I’ll admit I’ve only cooked cassoulet with cannellini. But having seen restaurants offering cassoulet in town, they probably have a source of tarbais beans? I assume you’re looking for dried vs canned right? I’ll check my usual spots for you next time I go.

1 Like

Wait, so I just looked up Wikipedia and cassoulet is usually done with haricot beans which is widely available here. Now I’m definitely curious on what tarbais brings to the table.

I can’t answer your question, but it rang a chord. This is exactly why I (in USA) decided to start growing tarbais beans. I can’t buy them locally, and the cost of ordering them is outrageous, once shipping is factored in.

The seeds themselves can be hard to find. I have to search around each year for a supplier. I need to grow enough of my own to make my own seed, but it seems I never do.


They’re haricots Tarbais.


They were available at Slovenia, the butcher shop pnnSt Laurent in Montreal, in an article written in 2005. Unfortunately, Slovenia closed down in 2022.

I would think a place like Cheese Boutique might carry them.

There are many types of haricots. I’m not sure if haricots is interchangeable with fèves for beans, or a subset of beans.


1 Like

In my experience with Rancho Gordo dried Tarbais, it’s an Emperor’s New Clothes situation, as is the case with most dried beans, especially small white beans. Tarbais beans are caplet-shaped. Nonetheless, the flageolet equivalent to what amateur wild bird enthusiasts clump together as LBBs (little brown birds). I once bought into the hype and purchased many pretty varieties from Rancho Gordo. Not only did they all taste alike (save for lima beans), but not a single colorful legume retained its color and pattern after cooking.


I’ve had 2 generous gift boxes of beans from Rancho Gordo.

I can’t tell the difference of the flavours from bean to bean. They do cook up nicer than the cheapest grocery store beans.

I gave the Tarbais beans I received to a friend who likes makings cassoulet. 8 lbs of dried beans is a lot for me to work through.

I have been buying nicer than average Italian and Greek white beans, different varieties and sizes.


I usually substitute Great Northern, Flageolet
or Cannellini(a little large but work well).
I think the most important things are the freshness of the dried Beans(I know a bit of an Oxymoron) and “Brineing” them overnight.
The brineing helps to make sure that they have a very creamy seasoned interior while not bursting.


its a long cooking time in the classic recipe. My guess is that the tarbais work well have a good, firm-ish texture when done and dont fall apart, which is a major consideration. Having said that, Ive used both tarbais and cannelini in the recipe and both have worked. Brining sounds like a good idea, I will have to look back at my Wolfert recipe and see her advice.


I have also used Flageolet Beans to good result but they cooking time had to be reduced a bit.

I was cruising through Central Market today in Austin and picked up a bag of tarbais beans. Then I came home and read this. As hot as it has been here, it was a “hope” purchase. I adore cassoulet. I usually pick it for my birthday, which is in winter.


While Alimentari doesn’t sell Tarbais beans, they are carrying these 4 Rancho Gordo beans.
On Roncesvalles.
Perhaps they would consider stocking Tarbais beans if you asked them?

Those prices are much higher than ours are, $6.49 a bag, and I thought that was a lot!

After reading what @greygarious said about Rancho Gordo beans tasting alike, I think I’ll stick to the actual tarbais beans. Apparently the draw is that they’re very thin skinned, but hold together with cooking and are creamy instead of starchy when finished. Thanks to everyone for your input.

I’ve been cooking Rancho Gordo beans for years now. I have never found them to all “taste alike” at all.