As Americans hunker down at home to wait out the pandemic, one question that’s been on everyone’s minds has been: what’s up with all the toilet-paper hoarding? Well, one place you might find the answer is the other empty shelf at grocery stores: the bean shelf.
The CEO of the American Pulse Association told the New York Times that canners and packagers had seen a 40% increase in sales in recent weeks, while major bean player Goya reports a 400% increase in the sales of various canned beans (including black beans and pinto beans). And heirloom-bean cult-favorite Rancho Gordo went from receiving 150-200 orders each day to about 1500. It’s become increasingly clear that when it comes to staying home and feeding ourselves, everybody seems to have realized that beans are the food that will see them through.
Beans were already having a good couple of years, reports Grub Street, having seen sales rise 75% over the last five years, but this has sent the sales absolutely through the roof. But beans as the food of dire times makes a lot of sense: they’re nutritious, affordable, and don’t go bad. Also, despite a very unearned reputation, they are delicious and versatile.
I Bought Some Beans. Now What?
Beans often seem like a better idea in the store than when you get home and remember that you still have to do something with them. Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a few good recipes, tips, and inspiration for what you should do with them.
The pandemic has also encouraged a lot of people to dive into major project cooking, so if you’re feeling ambitious and also bean-wealthy, there’s no better dish to make a massive mess for than traditional French cassoulet.