Yin-Yang Beans

The Beanstalk: Yin-yang Life Cycle (Used with permission.)

Yin-yang beans, also called Calypso or orca or black calypso beans (Phaseolus Vulgaris), resemble nothing more than the ancient Asian symbol of “yin-yang,” even to the point (no pun intended) of the eternal black dot. The beans take 70-90 days to produce “fruit.” According to gardening catalogs, these hyrbids grow to be fifteen inches high. Each bean pod contains four to five seeds or beans. Wait until 90 days after planting to harvest for dry use, but you can cook young beans as you would any snap bean. Amazingly enough, the beans carry the faint taste of potatoes when cooked. While the color changes after cooking the unique yin-yang markings remain.

Here’s a photo essay starring this remarkable bean.

Growing, growing, growing (Used with permission.)
Growing, growing, growing (Used with permission.)

Growing the beans is not always easy and so the seeds often turn out not to be available to the yearning wanna-be farmer.

Yin-yang Seed Pods (Used with permission.)
Yin-yang Seed Pods (Photo credit: Jennifer De Lurio)

Pods take time to mature. Dry, chaff-like skins break open and beautiful seeds tumble out.

Up-Close Look (Used with permission.)
Up-Close Look (Photo credit: Jennifer De Lurio)

Up close, the pods reveal their unique beauty.

The Beauty of Yin-Yang (Used with permission.)
The Beauty of Yin-Yang (Photo credit: Edible Office)

The beans really do evoke the yin-yang analogy.

Cooking Beans, Universal Techniques (Used with permission.)
Cooking Beans, Universal Techniques (Photo credit: Brian Sharp)

Cooking the beans requires nothing new, for the cook treats them like any other dried bean.

© 2008 C. Bertelsen

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