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Bean There; Done That

January 26th, 2017 at 08:58 pm

Ignoring all the confusion and chaos around us, this blogger has sought to find the real truth behind the lima vs butter bean debate. This is what the always infallible internet has to tell us:

"Butter bean is a term that some use for particular types of lima beans; the only difference is in regional terminology. The lima bean is a domesticated legume with the scientific name of Phaseolus lunatus that gets its name from its place of origin, Lima, Peru. Some in the American South and the United Kingdom call particular types of lima beans “butter beans.”

Dried lima beans that are more flat and yellowish than the common rounded and green variety are often called “butter beans” in Southern States. In the South, lima beans and butter beans are considered to be two different types of bean, however, in their scientific name is the same and they are not two distinct species of bean.

The culinary terminology used in the United Kingdom differentiates between lima and butter beans more in line with the Southern United States distinction, where lima beans that are dried, larger, and light yellow are referred to as butter beans and the smaller green bean is called a “baby” or “junior” lima bean. These distinctions do not change the scientific terminology, and the two common terms used for the lima bean are often interchangeable regardless of regional or culinary preferences.


All of this marvelous knowledge comes from reference. com which cites the USDA. Scientific knowledge is important. Perhaps even more riveting than all of this is that I got my husband to eat about 25 percent of them in his lunch. Expect further updates tomorrow.

8 Responses to “Bean There; Done That”

  1. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, that surprises me. I thought I liked butter beans and wasn't crazy about lima beans! Maybe it was all in the way they were prepared, the few times I had them. Or maybe I should stick to my "alternative facts" and insist they're different beans. Wink

  2. scottish girl Says:

    We'll be eating them tomorrow.

  3. My English Castle Says:

    I agree, ceejay. I wonder if it's the childhood imprinted memory of them in frozen vegetable mixes.

  4. alice4now Says:

    Ugh! I used to hate the lima beans in those veggie mixes! So dry! Butter beans are gross, too, though Smile

  5. CB in the City Says:

    Now if only I could get your husband to eat my vegetables! (But still benefit me.) I am not a fan of most vegetables, but beans I can't even digest. Truly. I don't have the enzyme or whatever to break it down.

  6. My English Castle Says:

    CB--have you tried Beano or whatever? We all love veggies, virtually everything except me and DD and those limas.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    To add to the raging controversy, MY British husband says lima beans are called BROAD beans, not butter beans! My god, this divisive topic threatens to tear at the fabric of society itself! Big Grin

  8. My English Castle Says:

    This is earthshaking news, ceejay. Broad, butter, lima: what to do? How can good people come to any kind of agreement on this?

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