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French Beans

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``French bean`` redirects here. For the Rowan Atkinson film, see French Bean. For the green bean commonly used in Asian cuisine, see Mung bean. Green common beans on the plant Cut green beans Whole green beans in a carton

Green beans (American English), French beans or runner beans (British English) are the unripe fruit of any kind of bean, including the yardlong bean, the hyacinth bean, the winged bean, and especially the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris), whose pods are also usually called string beans in the northeastern United States, but can also be called snap beans.

Green bean varieties have been bred especially for the fleshiness, flavor, or sweetness of their pods. Haricots verts, French for ``green beans,`` may refer to a longer, thinner type of green bean than the typical, American green bean.[1]

The first ``stringless`` bean was bred in 1894 by Calvin Keeney, called the ``father of the stringless bean.`` Keeney worked in Le Roy, New York.[2]


Culinary Use

green beans (raw) Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 129 kJ (31 kcal) Carbohydrates 7.1 g Dietary fibre 3.6 g Fat 0.1 g Protein 1.8 g Vitamin C 16 mg (27%) Iron 1 mg (8%) Potassium 200 mg (4%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Green beans are of nearly universal distribution. They are marketed canned, frozen and fresh.

Green beans are often steamed, stir-fried, or baked in casseroles. A dish with green beans popular in the southern United States, particularly at Thanksgiving, is green bean casserole[3]. Some restaurants in the USA serve green beans that are battered and fried, and Japanese restaurants in the United States frequently serve green bean tempura. Green beans are also sold dried and fried with vegetables like carrots, corn, and radishes.

Green beans are also rich in vitamin C.[citation needed]


Green beans are found in two major groups, bush beans and pole beans.[4]

Bush beans are short plants, growing to approximately two feet in height, without requiring supports. They generally reach maturity and produce all of their fruit in a relatively short period of time, then cease to produce. Gardeners may grow more than one crop of bush beans in a season.


Over 130 varieties of snap bean are known.[5] Varieties specialized for use as green beans, selected for the succulence and flavor of their pods, are the ones usually grown in the home vegetable garden, and many varieties exist. Pod color can be green, golden, purple, red, or streaked. Shapes range from thin ``fillet`` types to wide ``romano`` types and more common types in between. French Haricots verts (green beans) are bred for flavorful pods.

The following varieties are among the most common and widely grown.

Bush types

Burpee's Stringless Green Pod, 50 days (green, heirloom)[2] Contender, 50 days (green) Rocdor, 53 days (yellow) Cherokee Wax, 55 days (yellow), 1948 AAS winner Golden Wax/Improved Golden Wax/Pencil Pod Black Wax/Top Notch, 55 days (yellow, heirloom) Red Swan, 55 days (red) Blue Lake 274, 58 days (green) Maxibel, 59 days (green fillet) Roma II, 59 days (green romano) Improved Commodore/Bush Kentucky Wonder, 60 days (green), 1945 AAS winner Dragon's Tongue, 60 days (streaked) Green pole beans on beanpoles

Pole types

Marvel of Venice, 54 days (yellow romano) Blue Lake, 60 days (green) Fortex, 60 days (green fillet) Kentucky Blue, 63 days (green), 1991 AAS winner Old Homestead/Kentucky Wonder, 65 days (green, heirloom) Rattlesnake, 73 days (streaked, heirloom) Purple King, 75 days (purple)


^ About Haricots Verts ^ a b Taylor's guide to heirloom vegetables. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1996. ISBN 0395708184 ^ The New Best Recipe.