- Together with corn, chile, squash, and quelites (wild greens), beans are one of the basic products of the Mexican milpa (cornfield cropping system).
- There are more than 150 species of beans, only 5 of which have been domesticated.
Beans belong to the legume family. It is a herbaceous climbing plant.
Fresh young green beans and tender beans from the bean pods can be consumed at this stage. Dried beans have a longer shelf life and can be kept in storage.
There are different species of beans, including: black beans, bayos (brown beans), oyocotes (yellowish to purple), and azufrado (Mayorcoba or Peruvian beans).
Beans contain vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, flavonoids, and fatty acids, including Omega-3.
Beans are a basic staple especially for Mexico’s rural population; it is one of the most widely consumed foods and a common ingredient in Mexican cooking. More than 650 thousand individuals participate in its cultivation and harvest.
Many dishes are prepared with beans, such as beans cooked with pork, a typical dish from the Yucatán peninsula, one of the many dishes that can be made with this legume.
- Zacatecas is the leading state in bean cultivation, producing 60 percent of the nation’s total.
- Every state in Mexico has a portion of land where beans are cultivated.
- In 2013 Mexico planted beans in 1,842 of the nation’s 2,457 municipalities.
- Mexico is ranked seventh on the list of world bean producers.
- Average bean consumption is 11 kilos per person.