From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bean is a common name for large plant seeds of several genera of the family Fabaceae (alternately Leguminosae) used for human food or animal feed.
콩은 식용이나 사료용으로 쓰이는 콩과의 식물의 크기가 큰 씨를 가리킨다.
The whole young pods of bean plants, if picked before the pods ripen
and dry, can be tender enough to eat whole, whether cooked or raw. Thus
the word "green beans" means "green" in the sense of unripe (many are
in fact, not green in color), as the beans inside the pods of green
beans are too small to comprise a significant part of the cooked fruit.
콩과식물의 어린 콩깍지는 성숙하기 전이나 말라버리기 전에 따면 조리를 하든 날것이든 통채로 먹기에 충분하다. green bean의 green은 덜 성숙했다는 의미의 green이다(실제로 색깔이 녹색이 아닌 경우도 많다). green bean의 깍지속에 있는 콩들은 요리의 재료라고 하기에는 너무 작기 때문이다.
The term "bean" originally referred to the seed of the broad bean, but was later expanded to include members of the genus Phaseolus, such as the common bean and the runner bean, and the related genus Vigna. The term is now applied in a general way to many other related plants such as soybeans, peas, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas (garbanzos), vetches and lupins.
"Bean" can be used as a near-synonym of "pulse", an edible legume,
though the term "pulses" is usually reserved for leguminous crops
harvested for their dry grain and usually excludes crops mainly used
for oil extraction (like soybeans and peanuts) or those used
exclusively for sowing purposes (such as clover and alfalfa). Leguminous crops harvested green for food, such as snap peas, snow peas, etc., are classified as vegetable crops.
In English usage, the word "beans" is also sometimes used to mean
the seeds or pods of plants that are not in the family Leguminosae, but
which bear a superficial resemblance to true beans, for example coffee beans, castor beans and cocoa beans (which resemble bean seeds), and vanilla beans (which resemble the pods).
Beans are one of the longest-cultivated plants, broad beans having been grown at least since ancient Egypt, and the common bean for six thousand years in the Americas.
Many modern dry beans come from old-world varieties of broad beans,
but most of the kinds commonly eaten fresh come from the Americas,
being first seen by Christopher Columbus during his conquest of a region of what may have been the Bahamas, where they were grown in fields.
One especially famous use of beans by pre-Columbian people is the Three Sisters method of companion plant cultivation:
- On the east coast of what would come to be called the United States, some tribes would grow maize (corn), beans, and squash
intermingled together, a system which had originated in Mexico. The
corn would not be planted in rows as it is today, but in a
checkerboard/hex fashion across a field, separate patches of one to
four stalks each.
- Beans would be planted around the base of the developing stalks,
and would vine their way up as the stalks grew. All American beans at
that time were vine plants, "bush beans" having only been bred more
recently. The cornstalks would work as a trellis for the beans, and the beans would provide much-needed nitrogen for the corn.
- Squash would then be planted in the spaces between the patches of
corn in the field. They would be provided slight shelter from the sun
by the corn, and would deter many animals from attacking the corn and
beans, because their coarse, hairy vines and broad, stiff leaves are
difficult or uncomfortable for animals like deer and raccoons to walk
through, crows to land on, et cetera.
Beans were an important alternative source of protein throughout old and new world history, and still are today. There are over 4,000 cultivars of bean on record in the United States, alone.
An interesting modern example of the diversity of bean use is 15 bean soup, which, as the name implies, contains literally fifteen different varieties of bean.
|Beans, average, canned, sugarfree
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy 80 kcal 330 kJ
|Percentages are relative to US
recommendations for adults.
As illustrated by 15 bean soup, there is a great variety of beans types, including:
The following traditional uses of beans refer to the broad bean.
- In some folk legends, such as in Estonia and the common Jack and the Beanstalk story, magical beans grow tall enough to bring the hero to the clouds.
- The Grimm Brothers collected a story in which a bean splits its sides laughing at the failure of others.
A bowl of tomatillos and beans in the pod
- Pliny the Elder claimed that beans act as a laxative. He may have been referring to the seeds of the castor oil plant, which contain oils used as laxatives in ancient India.
- European folklore claims that planting beans on Good Friday or during the night-time is good luck.
- "Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit"
is a children's song about the flatulence often experienced after
eating beans. The song is noteworthy for correctly identifying the bean
as a fruit, not a vegetable. Yet beans, along with many other fruits,
are regarded as vegetables due to their common usage as such. The
decision to classify certain fruits as vegetables was officially
resolved in 1893 when the US Supreme Court unanimously decided the
tomato was a vegetable, at which time Justice Gray also clarified the
status of cucumbers, squash, peas and beans as vegetables.
This distinction is important in planning nutritionally balanced meals
and is supported in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans published by
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of
Agriculture in which legumes (dry beans) are designated as a subgroup
within the Vegetable Group, and in the MyPyramid Food Plan in which dry beans and peas are part of the Vegetable Group.
- In Japanese,
"mame" (豆, マメ = "bean") may also mean something small. "Mame Chishiki"
(豆知識), a Japanese phrase, which literally means "bean knowledge" (not
"knowledge of beans"), is used to indicate any random trivia or
miscellaneous knowledge displayed. The Japanese name for the Japanese beetle is "mamekogane" (マメコガネ), meaning "small beetle".
- In many parts of the southern United States, serving a meal of
black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring good luck in the
- In Malta and in Brazil, eating lentils on New Year's Day is said to bring good fortune in terms of money for the coming year.
- In Nicaragua, newly weds are given a bowl of beans for good luck.
- In Aruba, boiled beans mixed with zinc phosphide are used as a means of cheap Rodenticide.
- In Italy, eating lentils on New Years night is said to bring good fortune in terms of money for the coming year.
Some kinds of raw beans and especially red and kidney beans, contain a harmful toxin (the lectin Phytohaemagglutinin)
that must be destroyed by cooking. A recommended method is to boil the
beans for at least ten minutes; undercooked beans may be more toxic
than raw beans. Cooking beans in a slow cooker, because of the lower temperatures often used, may not destroy toxins even though the beans do not smell or taste 'bad' (though this should not be a problem if the food reaches boiling and stays there for some time).
Fermentation is used in some parts of Africa to improve the
nutritional value of beans by removing toxins. Inexpensive fermentation
improves the nutritional impact of flour from dry beans and improves
digestibility, according to research co-authored by Emire Shimelis,
from the Food Engineering Program at Addis Ababa University. The study
is published in the International Journal of Food Science &
Technology. Beans are a major source of dietary protein in Kenya,
Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. (Sub Saharan Africa page, Science
and Development Network website)
Many edible beans, including broad beans and soybeans, contain oligosaccharides (particularly raffinose and stachyose), a type of sugar molecule also found in cabbage. An anti-oligosaccharide enzyme
is necessary to properly digest these sugar molecules. As a normal
human digestive tract does not contain any anti-oligosaccharide
enzymes, consumed oligosaccharides are typically digested by bacteria in the large intestine. This digestion process produces flatulence-causing gases as a byproduct. This aspect of bean digestion is the basis for the children's rhyme "Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit."
Some species of mold
produce alpha-galactosidase, an anti-oligosaccharide enzyme, which
humans can take to facilitate digestion of oligosaccharides in the
small intestine. This enzyme, currently sold in the U.S. under the brand-name Beano, can be added to food or consumed separately. In many cuisines beans are cooked along with natural carminatives such as anise seeds, coriander seeds and cumin.
Other strategies include soaking beans in water for several hours
before mixing them with other ingredients to remove the offending
sugars. Sometimes vinegar is added, but only after the beans are cooked as vinegar interferes with the beans' softening.
Fermented beans will not produce most of the intestinal problems
that unfermented beans will, since yeast can consume the offending
The world leader in production of Dry Bean is Brazil, followed by India and then China. In Europe, the most important producer is Germany.
The world leader in production of Green Bean is China, followed by Indonesia and then Turkey.
Pythagoreans did not eat beans, and exclude meat and fish, as well.