Haricots Verts literally translated means green beans. However, the term is typically used to refer to the really tender, small french green beans that are about 3 inches long. I was simply stunned to find this large clear container filled with 500 grams of “French Beans” or Haricots Verts at the vegetable section of Price Smart Fort Bonifacio today. I did a double take and after a close inspection, and a look at the price (P252.95), happily plonked one container into my cart.
Sold under the label of VAVA VEGGIE, I believe these beans are grown on the same farms that raise the company’s romaine and other lettuces in Bukidnon, Mindanao and are somehow “exported” to Manila not the worse for wear. French beans typically refer to beans that are eaten with their pods. The beans are either harvested immature or very small or mature but still eaten with pods. They can be green or yellow varieties, with the small haricots being the most desirable. Most source books seem to agree that the finest Haricot Verts should be thin, tender and about 3 inches or shorter. Other growers have tried to market this bean here but they used to let the beans get too big… These ones, on the other hand, were just about right. At an average length of just 3.25 inches and very thin, these will do great, thanks. Considering they are grown thousands of miles from France, I am thrilled to have access to these yummy beans.
To prepare, just remove the stem ends of the beans, blanch in a pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop cooking and help the beans retain their vivid green color. Once prepped this way, they are delicious when tossed with melted butter, served with vinaigrette, or with a bacon or pancetta topping. Season generously with salt and pepper. The 500 gram container could easily serve 6-8 as a side dish portion. More kudos to farmers who are bringing new and delicious veggies to market!