Succotash With Sweet Corn And Horticultural Beans

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New Englanders usually made succotash using horticultural beans, also known as “shell beans.” Adapted from: 1896 Boston Cooing-School Cookbook by Fannie Merritt Farmer (Gramercy, 1997).


  • shell beans
  • corn
  • salt
  • butter


Prepare shell beans by removing the beans from their pods. Cook for 1 minute in a pressure cooker, or 15 to 25 minutes in a tightly covered saucepan in salted water, 1 inch deep. Take an equal amount of corn and heat the beans and corn together. Use fresh corn that has been stripped from the cob, canned corn or frozen corn. If you use fresh corn, boil it on the cob for a few minutes, then slice it off. Season with salt and butter.

Today it takes a bit of work to find local sources of the corn and beans grown by our ancestors. Flint corn seed can be ordered from FEDCO or High Mowing Seeds. Butterworks Farm in Westfield will offer yellow-eye, Jacob’s cattle, and Vermont cranberry beans in September. You can find them at some coops or call the farm at (802) 744-6855. Some general stores sell soldier beans grown within New England.

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