Beans can be a great meal, and larger beans are more creamy and more impressive the plate. So what are the largest beans you can buy today?
Why Bigger Beans Are Better
There are a lot of reasons to opt for larger beans. Sure, it’ll limit your selection of beans and bean vendors, but it’s worth considering.
- Are more creamy because they have a higher proportion of inside versus skin
- Are easier to eat since a single bean can be a substantial amount
- Are more impressive on the plate and are great for guests
Royal Corona Beans
Royal Corona beans are huge, white beans that you can buy online easily but probably can’t find nearby. These are runner-style beans that resemble large lima beans but have a fresher flavor and are less likely to break down when cooking. They really are quite good and I highly recommend picking them up. I always buy mine direct from Rancho Gordo (when they are in stock!) and prepare them with tomatoes in the style of gigandes plaki (more on this below).
Where to buy Corona beans?
- Rancho Gordo
- Amazon (intermittently)
- Chef Shop
The largest common beans that you can find locally are lima beans. These are large, white beans normally found in soups.
The thing to know about lima beans is that this is a catch-all for beans that might include butter beans, double beans, and sieve beans, depending on where you live. True lima beans will be of the Phaseolus Lunatus variety.
Lima beans are normally all white, though there are other varieties, like Christmas Lima beans which are purple and white, with speckling that is not unlike rattlesnake beans.
These Japanese beans might be ones you run into everyday, but they are worthy of inclusion in this list. Also known as “white flower beans” they resemble lima beans in that they are large and white. They are of the Phaseolus Vulgaris variety and are about 1-inch long.
These are shelling beans that are popular with gardeners in moderate climates, though they have long growing times — over 85 days! The beans themselves are quite delicious and while the name sounds Japanese, the beans are original from South America.
Gigandes plaki – Beans or Dish?
Gigandes plaki is a Greek dish, not a type of bean, though this is a popular source of confusion. This dish is the most popular use of large beans in cooking and it’s easy-to-find dish at most Greek restaurants and tavernas. This dish uses beans that are officially of the Fasolia Gigandes variety, which are relatively easy to find around the Mediterranean. The dish mainly gets its flavor from tomato but also has garlic, oregano, and parsley in it.