Lately, there has been a great interest in heirloom beans.
The exact definition of an heirloom bean is beyond the scope of this website,
but suffice it to say that heirloom beans are produced by nature, cultivated
over generations, they are untouched by genetic science or modern technology.
Heirloom beans can be purchased online or at specialty stores. They are generally a bit more expensive than those you will find in a grocery store. They will probably have flavors that you recognize but the taste and texture is noticeably different from the grocery store varieties.
You will find dozens of different varieties. This is a great way to expand your bean repertoire.
Here are some great websites where you can shop for heirloom beans and learn more:
Rancho Gordo – A specialty food company based in Napa California. You can purchase heirloom beans on this site. Also lots of great information including recipes. A really fun website! Check out their cookbook:
Heirloom Beans: Great Recipes for Dips and Spreads, Soups and Stews, Salads and Salsas, and Much More from Rancho Gordo
Zursun Beans – Founded in 1985, Zursun beans is located in the Snake River Canyon of Idaho. Zursun has a huge selection of heirloom beans. You can’t purchase directly from the website, but they have a long list of retailers. Hopefully you can find one near you. Be sure to sign up for their newsletter.
Native Seeds – This non-profit is located in Tuscon, Arizona. Their mission is to preserve ancient seeds for production in arid climates by Native American Farmers. They sell several varieties of heirloom beans. Their website is very interesting and informative.
Alma Gourmet – Order Italian heirloom beans, straight from Italy to your table!