Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Vitue of Canned Beans

I always thought Mark Bittman's obsession with how great it is to cook your own beans all the time was fairly wacky, but apparently he is relenting:
Canned beans are beans someone else cooked and then canned, and canning is an inoffensive preserving process that’s certainly no good for things you want undercooked or crisp-tender, but is fine for things you don’t mind mushy. I’m not saying I’m giving up on dried beans, but I’m going to think a little more often about canned beans from now on.

With unusual beans(that you can't find canned anyway) or a dish like cassoulet, I certainly cook my own... but I've never honestly noticed a difference in a strongly flavored dish like black bean soup or chili. Actually that's not true, I have noticed a difference... when I cook my own I invariably jump the gun and end up with undercooked crunchy beans.