The Foodocracy

California Heirloom Bean Collection

There are few things more Californian than having a pot of beans on the stove. Perhaps it is because California was part of Mexico until 1850 but beans are a part of life for most Californians. Pink beans are specifically important in California and are an essential part of a California Style BBQ.

KING CITY PINK

The King City Pink has a rich history and a big flavor. They have a delicious taste that will knock you over it's so good. King City Pinks are dense and meaty with a delicate, thin skin and a luscious broth. The are about the size of a navy bean, larger than the other pink bean famous in California, the pinquito. 

In the 1800s Charles King purchased inexpensive land on the central coast region of California not far from Monterey. When he was successful growing wheat, King City was born and quickly became an agricultural hub also growing the pink beans that bear its name. By the 1930s when John Steinbeck wrote Tortilla Flats, King City was shipping pink beans across the nation. Steinbeck has deep connections to King City and mentions the pink beans in Tortilla Flats and uses the town as a setting for several scenes in Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck's father claimed to have been the first permanent resident of King City and he met and married his wife there. 

SANTA MARIA PINQUITOS

If California had a state bean, it would be the pinquito. These flavorful little pink beans come exclusively from California's Central Coast and are traditionally served with the barbecued tri-tip that made the Santa Maria region famous. They are considered the essential side dish ladled into large bowls full of bothy goodness. The beans are meaty in texture and they hold their shape even after hours of cooking but it's the flavor that keeps everyone coming back.

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