KIng City Pink Bean
Delicious heirloom bean from central California. I searched for these for years, because I remembered their great flavor. When I finally found and grew them, I was delighted to find they are a standout in the garden as well--early and trouble-free. I was laid up this year until July (I was in a car wreck.) But planted in early July, these still gave me a crop of beautiful, creamy, pink beans before frost. I'd have had a bigger crop if I'd planted earlier--it was a near thing. But still. The other bush dry beans I was trialing didn't make it.
King City Pinks are different than the famous Santa Maria pinks. Santa Marias are smaller, with an assertive flavor, and are primarily used for chili beans. These King City beans are very mild and sweet, with a creamy texture--even though they hold their shape when cooked. Honestly, I don't know of a better bean for salad, with just olive oil, garlic, and lemon. All the tasters agreed that these make delicious broth, so they are great in soup or as a simple pot bean even without a lot of additions like meat and spices. Around King City, they are often made into a delicious soup with a ham hock and onions. John Steinbeck mentioned them in his novels about life in the Monterey area, and they were a staple in local stores and restaurants.. I'm so happy to help steward this piece of California history.