What type of bean can I sub for cannillini (white kidney) ?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by highlander01, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. highlander01

    highlander01

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    I can't seem to find dried white kidney beans in my area so I am hoping to find a sub for them ... would great white northern work?Thanks in advance
     
  2. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes that will work.   Just cook them separate from the rest of the dish because they have different cooking times.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2011
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Great Northerns will work just fine. So, too, will Navy beans, although they're smaller than either of the other two.

    FWIW, all common beans are interchangeable in any recipe. You will get subtle flavor nuances, one to the other, but not enough to matter. About the only time it makes a difference is in a recipe where the color of the bean is an integral part of the dish.
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Almost any White bean will work. Smallpea beans and small kidney may work to.
     
  5. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    While all beans have subtle flavor and textural differences, most of the time they are pretty interchangeable, unless color is an issue.  Will the dish come out exactly "right?"  No, but normally it will be close enough not to get too hung up on having the exact right bean.
     
  6. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

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    Just to pick a nit, Pete, you really should specify common beans. Old World beans, such as favas, have a distinct flavor profile that's different and identifiable.

    This would apply to a very few common beans as well. Black Turtle, for instance, can't be mistaken for anything else. But, in general, it's true: almost all of the 10,000 known common beans can sub for each other.

    I would not, however, substitute limas or cowpeas though, as they, too, have distinct flavor profiles that could change the recipe dramatically.

    It's interesting, too, that the OP used "white kidney" as a synonym. In the 18th century, and well into the 19th, "kidney" was used generically to describe all common beans.
     
  7. pete

    pete Moderator Staff Member

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    I agree, that's why I said "most of the time."  Of course there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, but that's what you'd expect with so many different types out there.