The term Mexican bean refers to an assortment of different kinds of beans grown and consumed in Mexico. The bean is considered to be one of the most important ingredients of Mexican cuisine and is known as Frijoles collectively. The jumping beans are a unique kind of bean, indigenous to Mexico and considered to be a novelty in UK and USA.
Mexico is currently the fifth largest producer of beans in the world. The light yellow colored bayo bean as well as the black beans and the pinto variety have a huge domestic demand.
The bean along with the corn is regarded as the staple food of Mexico and the Tex-Mex food, a popular variety of fusion cuisine, also uses the ingredient to prepare a number of dishes.
Refried beans is a specialty of the regional cuisine while the other forms of beans are utilized to prepare soups, salads and stews popularly.
The use of Mexican beans dates back to the Mayan culture when the Indian tribes inhabiting the area used bean pastes to enrich their food.
Types of Mexican Beans
- Anasazi Beans- It is a bean variety grown in the area around New Mexico. It is red in color and has a mottled appearance.
- Frijol negro- This is the common variety of black beans used to make bean soups in all former Spanish colonies which include Mexico. They are rich in anti oxidants and believed to be nutritious.
- Pinto Bean- The commonest bean in Mexico, it is used whole or mashed as the filling of burritos. It is an ingredient of the refried beans and is used in Tex-Mex dishes. The mottled appearance gives the beans its name which literally means painted beans.
- Kidney Beans- The beans are kidney shaped and dark red in color. They are also known as chili beans in Mexico and are the most important ingredient of the rice and bean dish which is considered to be a staple of Mexico.
- Bayo- The yellow bean is an indigenous variety of Mexican bean and is used as a common ingredient of most of the bean based dishes of the region.
- Jumping Beans- A small tan colored bean which have been partly eaten away by moth larva is known as a Fijoles Salterines or jumping bean in Mexico.
Popular Mexican Bean Recipes
- Bean Broth-It is a broth made by simmering soaked pinto beans, chicken broth and garlic together with jalapeno peppers.
- Frijoles refritos- The most popular dish in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, it is made by frying the mashed pinto beans. It is also used as the base ingredient in various chimichanga as well as pupusa dishes.
- Beans and Rice- A typical Mexican dish that is a spicy concoction of rice, red beans and pork meat served together with a dash of lime juice.
- Corn and Beans- The combination of corn and beans are used to prepare soups as well as salads.
- Chili Con Carne- a spicy Mexican stew prepared with beans, tomatoes and chilies. The Tex-mex varieties use meat as well.
The yellow Mexican bean cannot be sold in the United States due to a controversial patent which was rejected in 2008.