SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— I was recently reminded why green beans used to be called string beans. We planted some skinny, French style beans in the garden and frankly they grew a lot faster than anyone expected.
By the time we picked them they were as big as the old Kentucky wonder string beans. They were almost too stringy to eat.
I looked into some of the history and found there are over 130 varieties of green beans. Besides the commonly known green ones, there are red, purple, yellow and even streaked varieties.
The thinner varieties are also called a filet type, while the really wide ones, called Romano beans, are my favorite because they’re so fleshy and have a rich wonderful flavor.
Blue Lake green beans are probably some of the most popular you can find these days, while the Chinese long bean has a few varieties of its own. The more yellow of the two is almost puffy looking. The other is green and skinny.
These stringless beans were bread in 1884 by a grower in New York who developed Keeney’s stringless bean. Before his developments, beans were too stringy and too fibrous. Whichever variety of green bean you like, experiment with the ones you like and try some different ones.