Roman bean is a speckled light brown bean, quite popular in the Italian cuisine. It is believed to be a substitute for cranberry bean, barlotti bean, chili bean or pinto bean.
It has an exceptional nutty flavor quite similar to chestnut and it is generally available in fresh form that has an advantage of not soaking them ahead of cooking. However, dried form of the bean is also extremely popular in cooking.
Roman beans are popular in different parts of the world like Turkey and Portugal and is highly used in USA, where it is a fall crop.
Culinary Uses of Roman Beans
Usually, roman bean does not retain its color once cooked, therefore, cooks prefer kidney beans when a richer color is required in the dishes. However, when color of the legume dish is not a concern, it is an excellent ingredient in lots of dishes, both in terms of health and taste.
Baked bean, bean salads and even bean stews are some of the commonly prepared dishes with roman beans. These beans are a nutritious addition to the Italian soups besides being a flavorful add-on owing to their nutty-flavor. Roman bean is the vital ingredient in minestrone soup. Curried beans are also quite popular in several cuisines.
Buying and Storing Roman Beans
Here are some tips on how to buy good quality roman bean:
- July-October is the peak season for the availability of the roman beans, therefore, fresh beans can be acquired in this period.
- While choosing the fresh beans, it is advisable to look for firm and fleshy fresh pods. The skin of the bean should be blemish-free.
- Unblemished and unbroken dried beans with plum look are always considered good for buying.
- Fresh beans should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within a week of the purchase date.
- Dried beans can easily be stored in an air-tight container and kept in a cool-dry place for up to 1 year.
- Canned beans stay fresh for a longer period, if the can remains undamaged and sealed.
Nutritional Facts Related to Roman Beans
Roman bean provides good nutrition, especially being highly fibrous and low in calories. This bean is often included in fat-free diets because of its low-fat contents. It is also a rich source of protein.