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Fresh Morrowfat Shelling Beans

Debra Redalia


I first met these beans three years ago when I first came to Sonoma County and they are one of my very favorite beans of all time. Big and very creamy, they are delicious and versatile. I’ll be showing you some tricks with these in future posts.

A local farm was selling just-harvested dried marrowfat beans at my local farmer’s market. I had never eaten an heirloom bean before, so I bought a bag of each of the six varieties they grow.

Morrowfats were my favorite.

Also known as ‘White Egg’, it is an old variety that originated in the mid-1800s. Larry has named them Lizard Eggs because that’s what they look like to him. Usually these are sold as dry beans, but I happen to know a local farmer who sells them fresh—ooo la la!—so I can buy the fresh beans at the right time of year, which is now. Local chefs wait their turn to get these, and so do I. But they are worth it. I’m on the list for more this Saturday and when the dry beans are available I’m going to buy as many pounds as I can to eat during the year.

Morrowfats are great for baking and they puree into velvet for soups.

These were very popular beans until the 1940’s when the growth of industrial agriculture replace them with the now-common white navy bean, which is easier to grow for industrial farms.

You may be able to purchase morrowfat beans at these farms listed on Local Harvest.

If you have a garden, try growing these beans.