Heirloom Pinquito BeansMADE BY RANCHO GORDO IN NAPA, CALIFORNIA
These heirloom beauties hold onto their firm, plump texture even when fully cooked, boasting a light pink skin and buttery, almost smoky richness. Our obsession borders on crazy: we're folding them into breakfast scrambles, sprinkling them in green salads at lunch and baking a pot with cheese for taco night.
Pinquitos are indigenous to the California’s Santa Maria Valley – some people believe they were brought there from Mexico by migrant citrus workers in the 1950s; others think they were a crop during the Mission period. However they got their start, we’re glad to finally have our hands on these little protein bombs.
Rancho Gordo founder Steve Sando got started in California when he just couldn’t find the quality produce and ingredients he needed for a solid homecooked meal – even the grocery store only offered one kind of tomato, from Holland! So he started growing Mexican tomatoes, and then moved on to beans, which were a little unpopular at the time. Ultimately, his crop just couldn’t compare to the family farmers' south of the border, so he turned to them for a steady supply. Once his high-quality heirloom beans got noticed by famous chef Thomas Keller, of French Laundry fame, the business boomed.
tip of the tongue
Pinquito beans are a mainstay in Santa Maria-style barbecue, typically alongside a hefty beef tri-tip. Try cooking the beans with some onion, garlic and a little bacon fat or olive oil for an aromatic pot liquor.