COOK } Rancho Gordo Beans Now at Salt & Sundry

My favorite beans are now on the shelves at Salt & Sundry! What's the big deal about Rancho Gordo beans? Founder Steve Sando cultivates New World heirloom varieties that pack greater depth of flavor and much better texture than the aged dried beans you often find.

For Salt & Sundry's pantry, we opted for Vaquero, Red Nightfall, Yellow Eye and good ol' garbanzos to start. I'm dreaming up earthy fall dishes to put them to good use.

A little DC connection from a 2009 New York Times article on the Rancho Gordo craze:
At the Yountville market, shoppers were lured by Sando’s boldly patterned beans, only to recoil when they realized they weren’t candied nuts, noted Sando. The French Laundry chef de cuisine Eric Ziebold (now at CityZen in Washington) brought Thomas Keller, who flipped for the Vallarta, which Sando jokingly described as “a stupid little yellow bean on the verge of extinction.” Soon everyone wanted “the Keller Bean.”