Tarbais beans have been grown for centuries in a small village south of France called Tarbais near the Spanish border, although their origin was the New World, pre-sixteenth century. In France these beans are handpicked so labor intensive and very costly to buy. They are thought to be the only beans that can stand up to the six hour cooking time of the French cassoulet dish, the traditional winter oven-braised stew of sausage, meat and beans. Tarbias beans have an extremely thin skin which makes them easy to cook and to digest. They have a low starch content and are remarkably tender when cooked.
Cooked Tarbais Beans, tossed with lemon and fresh herbs, is a delightful companion dish to fish, meat or poultry.
Perfect White Beans
Posted by Laurel Kenner on Jul 14th 2019
These beans have a wonderful story that you can read about on the d'Artagnan website. Brought from the New World by Christopher Columbus, the beans ended up in the gardens of the Bishop of Tarbes and eventually were cultivated throughout the area. They were planted alongside corn, another American immigrant, so they could climb up the stalk. The French use them in cassoulet. It's a splendid tender bean that keeps its shape and tastes fabulous.
Posted by Unknown on Jun 28th 2017
Posted by J Nebeker on Jan 5th 2017
This bean is significantly more tender than cannelleni beans.
Best absorbing EVER!
Posted by William (Bill) Fields on Oct 29th 2015
Since living in France, I already was aware of tarbais beans, but I was very happy to find a source in this country to buy them. They are THE best to absorb liquid, both the soaking in water (drain afterward) and the liquid I use to cook them in. Yet, they still retain their shape and don't get mushy. If I were not so greedy, I would eat each bean separately and savor it, but I can't resist eating a full spoonful at a time.