A big, kidney-shaped bean, their skin is with, smoth and glossy. These beans take a long time to cook, but once cooked they are soft and firm. Soak them for 12 hours before cooking for the best result.
The very honest truth about those butter beans (quality disclosure):
Those beans have been grown in China, and they have a very short shelf-life. They might break or lose their skin, especially when they are cooked to fast.
Asturias is a very small region that produces a very small amount of beans (3.000 – 4.000Kg per year). This means that they barely export their production to other Spanish locations. Finding an Asturian bean outside Asturias is virtually impossible. This is why the same variety of bean ‘Judion de Granja’ is also grown in China and imported to Spain. They are not a similar variety grown in China, they are the same beans just grown somewhere else. Those China-grown beans are regularly consumed in Spanish homes, and they are the ones that are also available in the UK.
However, the butter beans demand in the UK is not very high, causing the beans to age on the wholesaler’s warehouse. We are retailers and we always order small amounts of beans, but all our beans have been imported to the UK by a bigger company that needs to meet the provider’s minimum orders in order to keep the prices low. Therefore, those beans have a short shelf-life.
Even then, if you want to make a proper fabada, our beans still keep their shape and skin better than other similar beans that you can find on the UK. This is why we keep stocking and offering them to our customers.
This is the only and best ‘judion de granja’ that we can offer you a the moment, but if you want to purchase proper Spanish butter beans from Asturias we can give you some tips:
- Look for a higher price. ‘Judion de granja’ from Asturias are 3 to 5 times higher than the same beans grown in other countries.
- Look for the D.O. (‘Denominacion de origen’, or in English ‘Origin Denomination’), a quality label that grants that a product has been produced in certain Spanish region and meets the official quality requirements. Any Spanish product that does not show the D.O. label might have been produced somewhere else, or might not meet the official quality standards.
At the moment we are trying to import proper Asturian ‘judion de granja’. If you are interested in having news about that, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will keep you informed.