Ayocote Blanco Bean
What's big and fat and creamy and makes everyone say "Wow?" If you said me, I wouldn't be offended, but we nominate the Ayocote Blanco. There really isn't a task in the kitchen it can't handle. When fully cooked, it's somewhat starchy and has a mild potato flavor, which screams for bacon or pancetta. Keep cooking and they go from dense to creamy and even a little buttery. You can make an elaborate dish like a cassoulet or you can just drizzle your best olive oil on the top and enjoy them with no fuss.
Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, the Ayocote family was one of the first cultivated crops of the New World. They are grown all over central and northern Mexico but seem to have lost favor with Mexicans except in specific indigenous communities. If you plant them, you can enjoy the flowers, eat the pods as a broad bean or shell them fresh for shelling beans, but the best way to enjoy them is dried so you can experience their fully developed flavor.
Cooking suggestions: Pot beans, stews, salads, chilis, baked beans.
Latin name: Phaselous coccineus