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All About Heirloom Beans

These vibrant, flavorful legumes give new meaning to the phrase “cool beans.” Are they worth seeking out?

What We Learned

There are more than 30,000 varieties of beans in the world, but only a handful are cultivated on an industrial scale. The rest—the ones that the world’s big producers of canned and dried beans forgot—are known as heirloom beans. You may have encountered heirloom beans at a garden store, small market, or local restaurant. Their devotees include famous chefs and trailblazers of the fo...