Beans (and Beans)

It looks like the price of "beans" is up substantially. But, "beans" in Nicaragua means red beans. Even the "canasta basica", a measure of the cost of essentials, uses the price of red beans. But, what does that mean for someone looking for a balanced diet?

There are lots of other types of beans available here. While red beans seem to be between C$10 and C$12 a pound, I recently bought white beans at C$6 and, as I remember, black beans at C$5.50. The white ones were for a particular dish I was cooking. I actually used them and squash to make the "cheese" in a Vegan lasagna I made. While it wasn't as "disgusting" as the one with real mozzarella, it was fine and it gave my aunt who can't eat fatty things such as cheese a nice meal.

Black beans, however, are our staple. I have always preferred black beans to red for over 20 years. Ana, who lived in Costa Rica, also prefers them. Other than a comment from the five year old son of a friend (why are these beans burned?), everyone else seems fine with them. They are grown as an export crop (to be sold to Costa Rica) and are always cheaper than red.

Soy beans are another crop grown here that seems to be a lot cheaper than red beans (except when the red bean crop comes in). I haven't bought any recently but the price is always lower. Great for making soy milk and also toasted soy nuts.

When the price of red beans is high, poor Nicaraguans tend to say they will just put more rice and less beans in their gallo pinto. The "good nutrition" answer is different. I have made gallo pinto using black beans, red beans, white beans, soy beans and ever garbanzo beans. While garbanzo is not a "cheap alternative", they all work, they all are nutritious and they can save people money.

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Kidney beans?

I love my chili( I make about 20 different variations) and my Nicarguan family had never had any before. But when I went looking for kidney beans all I could find was expensive canned variety. Do they not grow kidney beans in Nicaragua? The family loved the chili except for the two little darlings. Milagros and Diane, who kept fanning their tongues saying "Chiloso! Chiloso!I'm taking a bunch of seeds from my different peppers down to the family this coming year so we can have some real fire in the next chilis.Looks like I will have to do the same with curry seeds as well since I could find only susbstandard dried packets of spices in the markets.I made some Thai dishes as well for the family. The spice plants would seem a good thing to grow in Nicaragua because I couldn't really find much fresh herbs or spices anywhere down there.I did find one thing that was interesting and that was a herb they substitute for cilantro.No real Thai food restaurants in all of Nicaragua -couple of pale imitations of Thai food but definitely very substandard in Granada.

I need to figure out how to get the kids into hot & spicy is good for you


We love Thai food. It's our second best after Italian. We found some great places here in Chicago. Open a Thai food to go when you move to Nica. I'm sure it will be a hit. My favorite is patsi u. ( Most likely the wrong spelling)

Love and the senses

In big cities throughout America, ethnic restaurants bring an added dimension to sensory pleasure. Spellings matter little when the true delights are tastes & smells, and what suits is the word, from the language of original recipe, as spoken in your ear by a native. And, be we so fortunate, they might combine to orgasmic levels of sensation, despite their being non-tactile and non-visual.

In order that we might live more fully in the breadth of human experience.

Never seen them

It seems they should grow but there is (currently) no market. Same for pinto beans. I found some in the public market once which I used to make chili but I think they were imported. Never seen them since.

On my short list is growing lots of herbs and other "non-standard" things here. We were going to do it on the land I had but Plan B is getting close, I hope.

What I have grown in the yard is:

  • Basil -- Lots of it. Grew fine
  • Oregano -- came with the house and still producing
  • Hot chili peppers -- also came with the house
  • Dill -- Grew fine
  • Eggplant -- The small kind, producing well
  • Artichoke -- Big plants, no "flowers" yet
  • Stevia -- I think we finally have a plant growing

The "weeds" in my yard consist of:

  • Mango
  • Jocote
  • Guava
  • Limon
  • Sour orange
  • Banana
  • Avocado -- small tree that might fruit next year
  • Coffee -- one plant under the avocado that does produce fine

Beans and spices.

Interesting, I guess i should bring some bean packets of seeds as well. Some of the things I need if and when I set up will be Spanish(Key) limes, curry plant,different assorted chilis(jalapeno, habeneros, Thai mouseshit peppers, Cayenne, serrano,Scotch Bonnet, Mexican Poblano,Sweet Italian,and Mexican Tepín. I grow most of these every year in my backyard garden. One of the things I found intersting in Costa Rica was a drink called Mora. I was told it was made with blackberries but I have never seen any blackberries in all of Central America. That would seem to be another possibility for a new crop in Nicaragua. I love blackberries and back when I used to make up my own wine I found it to be the best fruit wine I have ever see-real nectar of the Gods.

Bean byproducts

methane gas and hydrogen sulfide--bad for the environment and your friends--contributes to global warming

How true!

Not to mention all the hot air generated by these forums!! :-)

O quantum est in rebus inane!

I know the answer! The answer lies within the heart of all mankind! The answer is twelve? I think I'm in the wrong building. - Charles M. Schulz

Funny you should mention that

If you get yourself on the "poor Nicaraguan" diet (or any other bean-heavy diet, the problem seems to go away.

On the other hand, after 30 years of being "almost vegetarian", if someone slips some lard into my gallo pinto, watch out.