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Frijol Xculibul: A New Heirloom from the Yucatan

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Ingredient Spotlight On the Road Vegetarian

Some of our projects take longer than others to come to fruition. When I had these beans in the Yucatan, I knew I wanted them, but the growers there ran a very small co-op and it's taken awhile to get Xculibul beans into the Rancho Gordo warehouse.

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No one here really knows exactly how to pronounce Xculibul. My version always ends up sounding like Ish Kabibble, the old Borscht belt comedian. But they do deserve a little more respect as they are delicious, dense and they have a bean broth with hints of chocolate.

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Like most good busines transactions in Mexico, this one started with food: a delicious lunch of chicken in a chile sauce with potatoes and rice. The cook and her son were pretty bored of us but I appreciate her excellent skills in the kitchen! I remember thinking this wouldn't be too hard to duplicate at home and I loved the plain steamed rice instead of the ubiquitous "Spanish rice" served almost everywhere.

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It was really hot out and after eating, we were told it could be quite a long wait. All the chairs were taken so I ended up in a hammock, as did Gabriel. The next thing I knew I woke up to the sound of my own snoring! I was so embarrassed and as I woke up startled, everyone laughed.

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My narcolepsy was a good turn, it turns out. One of the farmers had been suspicious about working with a gringo (me) and he was sure that anyone who could sleep as easily as I could had a clean conscience and was a good person to do business with. There were a few fits and starts but now we present to you the Xculibul bean. Dig out your best recipe for Cochinita Pibil or Guajalote in Escabeche and enjoy the fruits of our labor.

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Frijiol Xculibl on the Rancho Gordo website.



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