Cool Beans: The Ultimate Guide to Cooking with the World’s Most Versatile Plant-Based Protein, with 125 Recipes [A…
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Review of Cool Beans:
“Joe Yonan’s obsession with the humble bean is a fascinating read. Creativity, passion, and knowledge are visible in every dish. From black chickpea hummus to red bean ice cream, each recipe is both surprising and completely achievable.”—Yotam Ottolenghi, author of Jerusalem and Ottolenghi Simple
“Joe Yonan’s delectable Cool Beans is a collection of more than 100 very enticing recipes, all properly attributed to the source of inspiration. Aside from the recipes, there’s a great deal to learn in Cool Beans. This book should earn a place of honor in anyone’s kitchen. I know that it will in mine.”—Deborah Madison, author of Vegetable Literacy
“From the very first recipe in Cool Beans, you know you are in good hands. Joe Yonan’s collection of bean-based indulgences is hip without being pretentious, easy without being simple, and just plain inspiring, no matter how you eat. This book is a beautiful celebration of beans. It belongs in every kitchen.”—Steve Sando, founder of Rancho Gordo
About the Author Cool Beans
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
“We’re just here for the beans.”
So that’s what we told the waiter at Maximo Bistrot in Mexico City, where my husband, Carl, and I were honeymooning.
We had considered a handful of destinations, but CDMX was at the top of our list for several reasons: we had scored cheap nonstop flights from Washington, DC; Carl had never been and I was eager to show him just what he had been missing; and what he had been missing, more than anything else, was the food.
We got to Maximo an hour before our reservation, just so we could talk to Garcia about beans, which, no surprise, are one of his favorite subjects. In addition to his history lessons about them, Mexican cooking, and the impact of NAFTA on his country’s culture, he described his “very, very old-fashioned” soup, made with beans he gets from the state of Hidalgo. They’re called cacahuate, because they resemble peanuts when raw, but . . . he was fresh out.
The waiter brought us two big bowls of soup: the beans were super-creamy and golden in color, fatter than pintos, with a broth that was so layered and deep and, well, beany, that it made me swoon. It seemed so simple—just beans and broth and pico de gallo—that I could hardly believe how much flavor I was tasting.
Such is the power of the humble bowl of beans.
Lentils are so old that people who say lentils are shaped like lenses have got it backward; the world’s first lenses got their name because they were shaped like lentils. That’s old. In fact, there’s evidence that thousands of years before they were domesticated, in 11,000 BC, people in Greece were cooking wild lentils.
Pythagoras talked about fava beans
So why do beans have, well, something of a fusty reputation, especially here in the West?
I think a couple of things are going on:
That’s been changing, thankfully. As immigrants continue to shape American cuisine and we pay more attention to our own native traditions. We’ve started to realize just how deep the roots of bean cookery go.
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