Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sky beans.

sora5795

Finally finished picking my Lima beans! It was a bumper crop this year,... probably more than 50 kilos. Called Sora mame in Japanese, it means "sky beans", because when the young pods first start to grow on the stems, they grow upwards towards the sky rather than hanging down.
Its not sure exactly when they were introduced into Japan, but probably around the end of the Edo period. They are quite expensive in the supermarkets because they don't stay fresh for long, and so are not particularly popular. They are usually eaten boiled or grilled. Recently at a ryokan we were served rice with a few lima beans mixed in.

sora5794

I like them! Mainly because they are easy to grow, they take very little tending, and also because they grow through the winter and so supply fresh food to the table by spring.

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