WHAT KIND OF BEANS USED IN MEXICAN FOOD?
Along with Mexican Food, beans are a staple of the Mexican kitchen. Well-stocked Mexican markets sell dozens of kinds of beans, and even those that look similar might have different tastes and textures. There are three main types:
BROWNISH: Includes pinto, bayo, pink, golden peruviana (also known as peruana), flor de mayo, flor de junio, red (kidney), cranberry, and many local variations. When cooked, these beans are creamy-soft and mildly sweet.
BLACK: Some have white or reddish specks, some are flattish, and others are plump and round. They vary in size from tiny turtle beans to large ayocotes.
Black beans tend to be more fibrous than brown but have a wonderful rich, almost smoky flavor. Fresh black beans are a staple of Mayan cooking in the Yucatán.
HABAS: Habas are dried fava beans. (Their smaller, similar cousin, the ibes bean, is rather like a lima bean and is always used fresh.) These beans are flat, kidney-shaped, and pale in color with thick skins and crumbly, dry interiors.
Before cooking any type of bean, rinse them and pick them over carefully, discarding any stones or dirt you find. I always add a small amount of salt with the water, so the beans absorb the seasoning along with the liquid.
Cook beans until they are very soft when pressed between thumb and finger, making sure there is plenty of liquid in the cooker at all times. They will continue to absorb some of the cooking liquid and firm up as they cool.