What to do with: May Essentials

What to do with: May Essentials

Ben @ Ben to Table

May bring us another mix of heirloom, small-producer, and completely delicious pantry staples. Plus you'll find some Haitian crafted chocolate to finish off your next meal.

Here’s what’s in the box:

 * Yellow Eye Beans (Rancho Gordo)
 * Carolina Gold Rice (Geechie Boy Mill)
 * Indigo Popcorn (Geechie Boy Mill)
 * Farro Umbricelli (La Romagna)
 * CT Whole Wheat Flour (Atticus for Ben to Table)
 * Minuit (Askanya)

The Yellow Eyes can be cooked according to my "How to Cook: Beans" post. 

The Carolina Gold Rice can be cooked according to instructions in my "How to Cook: Grains" post.


Yellow Eye Beans (Rancho Gordo)

Rancho Gordo

These beauties from Rancho Gordo are about as mild as they come – they really take on the flavor of the aromatics you use to cook them with (if they’re strongly flavored).

These beans cook up soft, and smooth. You can use them in any recipe that calls for navy beans. Great in soups, as the base of a bean bowl (or atop a grain bowl), or as side on their own.

Carolina Gold Rice (Geechie Boy Mill)

Carolina Gold Rice

You might have seen this one before (we featured it in March, too). It’s hard to beat Carolina Gold rice on texture or flavor – and we all need some more easy deliciousness in our lives.

Grown in the Carolinas since the 1600s, this is the original rice in the Americas. Cook according to instructions on the bag, add to a soup, or use for rice pudding. You won’t go wrong.

Indigo Popcorn (Geechie Boy Mill)

Indigo Popcorn

This heirloom corn produces a sweeter and fluffier popcorn than normal varieties. What better food than popcorn to help us through our continued extra time at home?

To prepare, simply follow Geechie Boy Mill’s own instructions, top with the seasonings of your choice, and enjoy!

Farro Umbricelli (La Romagna)

Farro Umbricelli

La Romagna has been producing pastas for more than 50 years in Umbria, in Central Italy. Their farro umbricelli is made entirely from farro flour and water, and is low gluten (though not gluten free).

The shape and method of production mean this pasta holds on really well to sauce – I enjoyed it in very saucy preparations (drowning in a hearty Bolognese) and also just simply dressed with pesto. If you cook it along with the sauce, it will release the starch into the pot – a great path to a delicious one-pot meal.

CT Whole Wheat Flour (Atticus)    

Atticus Flour            

This hard spring wheat is fresh-milled for Ben to Table by Atticus. It’s a high-protein flour tailor made for breads, and great for your sourdough starter, but also versatile enough for most baking projects (from waffles and pancakes to biscuits and breads).

Below is a picture of a loaf I made using just this flour, following the Poilâne sourdough recipe:

Poilane sourdough

Minuit (Askanya)

Minuit chocolate

Askanya is Haiti’s only bean-to-bar chocolate company, using Haitian beans and producing chocolate in their facility in Ouanaminthe.

Their Minuit bar is their most popular – 60% dark, rich and deep without any bitterness. Enjoy!


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