Aley Chubeza #300(!), August 1st-3rd 2016

minhatIn perfect timing with the summer break of our bread baker Manu –
Arik and Asaf, producers (grinders) of the high-quality “Minchat Ha’Aretz” flour have announced an August sale:
Wheat flour (70% whole wheat) – 8 NIS
Spelt flour (70% whole grain) – only 15 NIS
Whole rye flour – only 12 NIS

So don’t let the summer heat blind you from this super sale! At these prices, your baked goods will be all the tastier! Time to bake some bread and spread it with your homemade pesto………

Bon Appetit!

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I Lubia Truly……..

Over the past weeks, Chubeza’s lubia has begun ripening in nice quantities, making a formal announcement that summer is at its peak. If you’ve been wondering why the latest green beans you’ve been receiving are so strange and coarse, well, it’s because they’re not green beans but rather… Thai lubia (yard-long beans), which appear to be “gift-wrapped” in your boxes, all tied up with a rubber band, making a rather strange and unique present. But don’t expect it to be a green bean, because it simply is not…

Thai bean/lubia (V. unguiculata ssp. Sesquipedalis) is a relative of the common bean, chickpea, soy, fava bean and other members of the Faboideae family we so love to munch on. Like them, the Thai lubia wears two outfits: the green dress, eaten in long green pods, and the dry ensemble where only the dry seeds are consumed.

In English, Thai lubia is known as the yard-long beanbora beanslong-podded cowpeaasparagus beanpea beansnake bean, or Chinese long bean. All names relate to the bean’s various characteristics: it originates in Southeast Asia, hence the “Chinese” or “Thai” title, and can reach the lofty length of one meter (though it’s generally harvested young, at approximately 30 cm.,  measuring 1 cm in thickness). It is reminiscent of the asparagus in diameter and length, and because of its flexibility may resemble a green snake (to those of you with overactive imaginations). Its taste ranges between that of green beans and fresh lubia (not as sweet as the beans), whilst the texture is more akin to lubia, less crunchy than the green bean and more flexible.

The Thai yard-long bean needs more heat than the green bean, and manages quite well throughout the months of summer heat (which certainly cannot be said of green beans). It is seeded in late spring, and we trellis it like peas, on poles with a net spread between the stalks on which the young plants climb skillfully and efficiently. Blooms begin within three months with a couple of beautiful flowers on each pole, resembling two butterflies. A couple of beans ripen from those two, adjacent to each other at the ends, like a couple of twin green worms (I just managed to think up a new name!)

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These beans must be harvested with care, as the bloom pole continues to develop flowers throughout the season. Contrary to green beans or peas, the Thai lubia grows slowly and yields pods only after more than three months (compared to two or less), but we can harvest it on and on, till the temperatures drop in wintertime.

The Thai yard-long bean can be harvested, like at Chubeza, at a young stage at less than 30 cm long and 1 cm. thick, in the same way as one would prepare a fresh lubia or green bean. You can also allow the pods to mature on the plant and use the black, red or white (depending on the variety) seeds as you would dry lubia pods or any dry bean.

We grow the green variety with black seeds inside, but across Asia there are wide, colorful varieties. The pods themselves come in green and reddish-purple and the seeds are black, white, brown, red, and more…

The Thai yard-long bean can be used in recipes calling for green beans or fresh lubia, including soups and quiches. In China, it is easily stir-fried, and is actually the original bean to have been used in stir-fried dishes. It tastes wonderful with fish and even pickled. The yard-long bean is rich in Vitamin A and contains a good quantity of Vitamin C as well.

Some of the recipes featured on our website range from easy to complicated, all delicious, of course. But if you don’t feel like firing up a cooking flame in this scorching summer, you are welcome to grab a long snake bean and simply…nibble.

Enjoy a week full of summer abundance and a true feeling of vacation,

Alon, Bat Ami, Dror, Yochai and the entire Chubeza team

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WHAT’S IN THIS WEEK’S BOXES?

Monday: New Zealand spinach/basil/lettuce, nana mint, tomatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, Tripoli/Provence pumpkin slice, okra/Thai lubia, corn, sweet red peppers/zucchini, onions.

Large box, in addition: Melon/butternut squash, leeks/scallions, parsley

Wednesday: Tomatoes, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, Tripoli/Provence pumpkin slice, melon/okra/Thai lubia, corn, sweet red peppers/zucchini, onions, parsley, nana mint/cilantro.

Large box, in addition: Butternut squash, New Zealand spinach/Swiss chard leeks/scallions.

And there’s more! You can add to your basket a wide, delectable range of additional products from fine small producers: flour, fruits, honey, dates, almonds, garbanzo beans, crackers, probiotic foods, dried fruits and leathers, olive oil, bakery products and goat dairy too! You can learn more about each producer on the Chubeza website. On our order system there’s a detailed listing of the products and their cost, you can make an order online now!