Rancho Gordo Heirloom Yellow Eye Beans


I am enchanted by these Rancho Gordo Heirloom Yellow Eye Beans that I bought at The Better Cheddar on the Plaza. I was first introduced to Rancho Gordo beans last summer when Tony Glamcevski, event and tour manager at Green Dirt Farm (read about my visit), and artist/curator Marcus Cain hosted a dinner in their home honoring founder Steve Sando.

Chefs Dave Crum and Patrick Ryan prepared an amazing meal using a variety of heirloom beans, summer vegetables, and plenty of pork dishes. You can read more about that adventure here.

I have held onto these beans for too long, waiting for a good reason to cook them. Winter is losing its grip on Kansas City. With the recent minor snowfall and drop in temperature, I decided it was time to make a winter soup of yellow eye beans and smoked ham hocks for dinner on Valentine’s Day since Pam and the kids are out of town. Rancho Gordo describes these beans as dense, creamy, and chowder-like when cooked. Sounds like he-man food to me.

Since I purchased the beans, I have wanted to photograph them because they look so unusual. The deep yellow “eye” is mesmerizing. Being the food geek that I am, I put off going to work this morning to shoot photos of the beans in weak winter morning light. For the last image, I put the beans in a metal bowl filled with water to soak. I reflected sunlight from a stock pan lid into the water. The play of light and murky shadow reminded me of gravel in an aquarium.

Can’t wait to get home, cook, and eat some beans!