Entranced, I ordered the Hidatsa Shield-Figure bean, as I recognized it from a mention in Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden. Documented in cultivation over 150 years ago in a village less than an hour from my home – that I have even visited! – these tiny bits of dna have been preserved by caring people across the nation and have finally returned to almost their place of origin. It makes me feel very close to my home ground, somehow.
And others agree – it’s been inducted to Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste.
It looks like this variety is only offered in seed packets, this year – but it is well worth trying out. It tastes to me pretty much like a white bean – a bit lighter in flavor than the pinto, for example – plus, as you can see above, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I hope to try the Hidatsa Red and Hutterite soup beans, next.
A few years back I passed close enough by Heritage Farm to tour the test plots, marvel at the historic apple orchard and grape vines, and refill my bean stocks. 🙂 To anyone in the plains area, I strongly recommend making the pilgrimage.