Tarbais Beans are known for their incredibly thin skin, providing a tender and creamy texture that is unparalleled in any other legume.
Rinse thoroughly and soak overnight. Rinse and place in a large pot, covered with fresh water. Bring water to a boil for 3 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes.
Storage & handling
Store in a dry, cool place.
Tarbais Beans, a variety of runner bean, were bred in a small village of Tarbes in the south of France, cultivated for their mild flavor and delicate structure. Planted at the same time as corn, the corn stalk serves as a pole for the bean plant to climb. This symbiotic relationship allows for a perfect environment for these special beans to mature, but creates a tedious harvesting process that inevitably contributes to a more expensive and less abundant product. Tarbais Beans are loved worldwide for their buttery, rich flavor and are the star ingredient in the French winter dish cassoulet. While cannellini and flageolet beans are often used as substitutes, Tarbais Beans are the classic and quintessential bean for this comforting French peasant dish.
As a result of their labor-intensive production methods, Tarbais Beans were granted the traditional French designation "Label Rouge," which ensures that the bean is a traditionally produced local product. Tarbais Beans also boast IGP status (Indication of Protected Geographic Origin), granted only to members of a small and tightly regulated cooperative of growers in Tarbes, France. We source our Tarbais Beans from this grower cooperative to ensure that they are of the highest quality and truly reflective of the traditional French growing methods.
Tarbais Beans are a member of the larger group legumes, a genre of plant species used for their edible seeds and pods, which boast a high nutrient density and low-maintenance preservation. They contain high levels of protein, essential minerals and fiber while maintaining a low level of fats.
Tarbais beans are a classic component of the French dish cassoulet. This version combines garlicky sausage and duck confit with the rich flavors of different cuts of pork. This is certainly a time- and labor-intensive dish, taking up to 3 days to complete including soaking and resting time. However, it is well worth it: the final result is a hearty, comforting casserole that has been treasured in French culture for centuries.