Haricot Tarbais is the traditional bean used in France for cassoulet. This oven braised stew of sausage, meat, and beans is traditional winter fare. These beans come from a small village in the south of France named Tarbais, although their origin was the New World, pre-sixteenth century. Haricot Tarbais are a type of pole bean. The beans are planted at the same time as corn. This enables the corn stalk to act as the pole for the beans. Once the beans are fully mature they must be harvested. However, since they are entangled in corn they must be harvested by hand. This labor-intensive process happens in early September every year. Tarbais Beans have a very thin skin and a subtle taste.
Continental United States
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