Beans are Beans?

keepitlowMarch 7, 2009

Bought some great northern beans at the grocery store. Then bought some great northern beans at Walmart a few weeks later.

The grocery store beans cooked up pretty nice. The WM beans had lots of beans split while soaking and had lots of loose bean skins and cooked up poorly compared to the grocery beans.

Do you think great northern beans come in different grades and they sell cheaper beans to WM? None of the beans seemed older than the other. They both cooked within the same time.

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Sure sounds like WM gets a lower grade of beans. Were they also smaller than the grocery store beans?

I use those beans a lot.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 6:36PM
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I agree, it sounds like you got U.S. No. 2 grade beans at Wal-Mart.

I just got a bag of pinto beans and it states clearly on the bag that they are #1 grade, but the Kroger brand navy beans don't show any grade anywhere. I guess that's something to keep in mind and look out for; especially if you are adding the beans to a salad and you want them whole.

Evedently, the grade of the beans doesn't have to be included on the packaging. Some things to look for if beans aren't graded on the package:

Brightness of color  Beans, peas, and lentils
should have a bright uniform color. Loss of color
usually indicates long storage, lack of freshness,
and a product that will take longer to cook. Eating
quality, however, is not affected.

Uniformity of size  Look for beans, peas, or
lentils of uniform size. Mixed sizes will result in
uneven cooking, since smaller beans cook faster
than larger ones.

Visible defects  Cracked seed coats, foreign
material, and pinholes caused by insect damage
are signs of a low quality product.


    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 7:08AM
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Beans, beans
- the musical fruit,
the more you eat
- the more you toot!

o j

    Bookmark   March 8, 2009 at 7:38AM
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When I compared the two GN beans the WM looked smaller on average than the grocery beans. Been using WM pinto with good results though.

Beans have really gone up a lot. Our grocery store used to have lentils for .75 cents a pound. Now they are $1.19.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:41AM
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I don't think the bean grades are all that useful, grade 1 are allowed 2% defects, while grade 2 allowed 4% defects. They dont address any cooking property or performance standard, mostly based on appearance and foreign material present. There are several reasons while some dried beans may split more than others during soaking/cooking. I don't think you can determine any of the most useful properties with the naked eye.

Here is a link that might be useful: U.S. bean standards

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 3:49PM
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