This year we planted dragon tongue beans, pinto beans, and top-pick crowder peas. The seed packet for the dragon tongue beans said they could be picked early (green) and the shells are similar to a green bean or left to dry and pick after the bean is fully mature similar to the pinto bean. We opted to let them mature and dry and pick them like pintos.
This is what we got. It is just about enough for one good mess of beans. I am grateful as we did not even know if we would get any harvest. The shells have purplish striping. Some shells are darker than others. We were curious to see how they taste.
|Dragon Tongue Beans|
Then we had our pinto beans. We love pintos. This is of course why we planted them. And then there is our top-pick crowder peas. I am very excited about the crowder peas. I love them and Jon doesn’t know what they taste like. The top-picks are great as well. The pea pods just grow on the top of the bush and just stick straight up in the air. There is only the random pea pod on the underneath sides of the bushes. They are so easy to pick with very little bending and crouching. I strongly suggest them.
|Pinto Beans and Top-Pick Crowder Peas|
Then Jon and I just sat and shelled them while watching TV. There isn’t a lot, but a descent amount considering our small short rows. We were so proud of our little crop.
This is what the dragon tongues look like shelled. They are very similar to a pinto.
|Dragon Tongue Beans Shelled|
After shelling them all, we spread them out on separate cookie sheets to dry for storage. No more than we had, we could have probably cooked them all fresh within a few days, but we wanted to go through the process of drying them out to see how long it took and that we could do it correctly.
The same day I went ahead and put a pot of the dragon tongues on. I just fixed them like I would pintos. I put them in the crock pot and let them slow cook about 5-6 hours with some onions, some bacon, salt, and pepper. I like to put ham, fatback, or bacon in my beans. Usually, I have bacon so that’s what it ends up being. You can also cook them in a pot on the stove for about 3 hours. I just like the crock pot because I can just put them in and walk away. So easy!
The dragon tongues are delicious. They are so similar to pintos in flavor. There is just a little subtle difference. They have just a little more something, something. You should give them a try.