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More on Soaking. Sometimes, It's a Very Good Idea.

I almost hate to bring it up because everyone has such a strong opinion about it but normally I don't soak. Sometimes I do. I really think the best beans come from very low and slow cooking after a strong 15 minute boil. Soaking can help speed things up and some claim it helps the texture. I'm not sold, but I have no problem with people who insist on soaking, unless they say something like "soak for 24 hours".
Soaked Royal Corona heirloom beans (left) and unsoaked 8 hours, and right out of the package (right).
I soaked my Royal Coronas and I'm not sure what the point of sharing this with you is except that it's just nuts to see how much they swell up! I've been doing this for a long time and it's still amazing. This is a very unusual bean. I ended up cooking them in a Spanish clay pot with a bay leaf and little salt. I was thinking I'd do something more elaborate with them later but this alone was perfection. No onion, no garlic, no oil. I loved them. So did my guests, who were probably expecting something a little fancier.

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