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The bean is a marvelous food; tasty, economical, highly nutritious; nearly a perfect food. Although the noble bean is often associated with peasant food, to be eaten when meat was not available, it is a staple in many cuisines.

We call them reverse immigrants because beans were growing in Central and South America long before explorers came to the New World. They traveled to Europe, only to return to the Western Hemisphere in delicious and intoxicating dishes like the cassoulet of France, the dal of India and the hummus of the Middle East.

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