Peruvian bean is a bean of ivory yellow color, which forms an important part of the diet of people in Central and South America. The name refers to its country of origin, which is the South American nation of Peru. It has marked similarity in appearance to the pinto bean, and a newer hybrid variant of the bean has now been developed to improve crop yield. It has a creamier texture than pinto bean and undergoes less disintegration on cooking.
The bean contributes a lot of nutrition to one's diet, being a rich source of soluble fiber and many essential nutrients. It is also called Mayocoba bean.
History of Peruvian Bean
Beans have been a part of the diet of human civilization since historic times, and ancient civilizations of Egypt and Asia are known to have consumed them. In America, the oldest known beans were Peruvian beans found in an archeological site in the South American country of Peru.
Peruvian beans are an important part of the diet of people of this region in modern times as well. In 1978, two yellow bean varieties of these beans were crossed by Mexican agronomists in order to improve yield and quality of the beans. The bean thus produced were named Mayocoba after the name of a village in the Sinaloa state. The bean, also called Peruvian bean, grew immensely in popularity and now thousands of tons of the same are produced here annually. They have not been genetically re-engineered and are healthy, natural and wholesome.
Culinary Uses of Peruvian Beans
Peruvian beans can be cooked and seasoned to be served along with rice or corn, both of which complement the nutritional profile of the beans. They can also be used as a substitute for pinto beans or any white beans in traditional dishes of South and Central America.
These beans are also used to make stews, soups and salads, or to make refried beans for preparing tacos and burritos.
Cooking Methods for Peruvian Beans
The beans are rinsed and then soaked for at least six hours before they are cooked, usually by simmering in broth or water over low heat. Sugar, salt and acidic substances like vinegar, lime and tomato cause the beans to disintegrate and hence, should be added to them as late in the cooking process as possible.
Popular Peruvian Bean Recipes
Peruvian Bean Soup: It can be made by boiling the soaked beans in chicken broth along with garden vegetables.
Peruvian Bean Side Dish: It is prepared by sautéing soaked beans along with onions, carrots and celery. Different variations of this Peruvian bean recipe suggest use of several additional seasonings.
Nutritional Value of Peruvian Beans
The bean is a rich source of soluble fiber, and hence, helpful in cholesterol reduction and prevention of heart attack and death from coronary heart disease. It is also a rich source of protein, complex carbohydrates, folate and iron, and at the same time it is low in sodium content as well as calories.