Steve Sando’s Rancho Gordo is a specialty food company in Napa, California. The superstars of their offerings are heirloom beans, which taste far, far better than the rest of the beans out there. I know, I know, how much difference can there be from one dried bean to another, right? Place an order and try for yourself, then write me a little thank you note.
I learned about Rancho Gordo a couple of years ago when my fabulous foodista friend, Maggie, gave me some of their heirloom beans. Ever since, I have placed regular orders, keeping my pantry stocked and gifting them to my foodie friends. Wouldn’t these adorable bags of beans make great stocking stuffers?
My favorite varieties are the pinto and the Ayocote Negro; both are the plumpest and most darned delicious beans ever. If you can’t decide where to start, try the five-bean “Desert Island Sampler.” Steve also offers corn products, chile peppers, and other good stuff.
I believe you can elevate your dining experience with a single well-sourced ingredient, including, yes, the humble bean. At the risk of sounding clichéd, finding the right ingredients is everything. Rancho Gordo beans fit the bill.