For such a simple, elemental food, known for providing low-cost protein to the masses, I find that beans can be tricky to get right. By tricky I mean a little fussy, requiring more care than you might expect.
You would think that cooking beans is a simple matter of boiling them in water until they soften to an edible state. This is mostly true, but for perfectly textured beans — beans that hold their shape and whose interior is pleasingly tender — cooks must give minimal but careful attention when shopping and cooking.
... Canned beans do not offer this kind of appeal. While canned beans are useful, and in my opinion a necessary convenience (a filling bean-and-cheese quesadilla is dinner 9-1-1 for preschoolers), they are truly second-best in taste and flavor compared to beans cooked from scratch.
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