Ayocote Negro - Heirloom Black Beans - Rancho Gordo
These rare beans are the result of Rancho Gordo working with the Xoxoc project to help small family farmers in Mexico continue to grow their indigenous beans, despite international trade policies that seem to discourage genetic diversity and local food traditions.
Ayocotes are runner beans (like the more well-known Scarlet Runners). Ayocote Negro are firm without being starchy and have a darker, inky bean broth than other runner beans enjoy. They are large, bold and one of the first beans we recommend if you're trying to sell a "steak and potatoes"-type on heirloom beans.
For some reason, Ayocote beans fell out of favor with many Mexicans except in specific indigenous communities. They were an important pre-conquest crop, they are beautiful and they've got a supreme meaty goodness about them that's hard to resist. They appear sometimes in markets but are seldom see in Mexico. It's a shame!
Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, the Ayocote family was one of the first cultivated crops of the New World. They are grown all over central and northern Mexico. If you plant them, you can enjoy the flowers, eat the pods as a broad bean or shell them fresh for shelling beans, but the best way to enjoy them is dried and cooked, so you can experience their fully developed flavor.