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Narsai David Food Report: Tracy Dry Bean Festival 2012

TRACY (KCBS)— The Tracy Dry Bean Festival is only about two weeks away. Due to the newly completed Downtown Plaza, the layout for this year’s festival will change once again, but come September 8th and 9th expect to experience a variety of beans that are now being grown in California.

The last number I heard was about 80 different varieties. Take the Christmas lima for example; which commonly comes in one-pound packages imported from Italy where it’s called the Pope’s bean and sells for about $5 a pound. You can get the locally grown kind for about half that price.

KCBS Food & Wine Reports:

At the festival you can sample and buy the dry beans, plus there will be giveaways as well as cooking demonstrations. It really is a weekend full of free entertainment for all ages. For more information about the festival go to:

It actually gives me the opportunity to bring out one of my favorite recipes which goes great with BBQ:


1 cup black beans, picked over and washed
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon cumin seeds

1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons oil
First, to degas the beans:

Drop beans into boiling water. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cover; and let stand for 1 hour. Drain in a collander and discard liquid. This removes most of the element that causes the gas in our body, and does not lose the nutritional value of the beans. Add fresh water and cook until tender. Drain and cool. Then mix in remaining ingredients. Stir in dressing and let stand for an hour to blend flavors. Stir again before serving.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53am, 12:53pm and 4:53pm, and at 2:53am Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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