Top Pick Of The Week

August 12, 2008

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Bean Dip

Serve Cool Beans white bean dip any way you would enjoy hummus...and in many more ways. Photography by Maria Bacarella | IST.

WHAT IT IS: A delicious dip and spread of puréed white beans.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: In some parts of the Mediterranean, white bean dip is ubiquitous; but it hasn’t caught on in the U.S. yet. We hope that Cool Beans is the vanguard.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Tasty, nutritious, versatile...a great ingredient as well as delicious right out of the jar. And easy to tuck into a desk drawer or locker at work, for healthier snacking.

Cool Beans:
More Haute Than Hummus

CAPSULE REPORT: Travelers to Provence and Italy have likely been served an appetizer dip and spread made of white beans. A purée of slow-cooked beans, flavored with lemon, garlic and fresh herbs, is delightful for dipping crudités and breadsticks and for spreading on bread and crackers. In Morocco, a spicier version called bissara, made with fava beans, is seasoned with cumin, paprika and cayenne. Both variations are far more elegant than the popular black bean dip of Tex-Mex cuisine. White bean spread can be the base of canapés, can add complexity to sandwiches and can serve as a side with duck, lamb, pork or veal.

Given the popularity of hummus, a purée of chickpeas and tahini, white bean dip should appeal to many American palates. It looks like hummus, can be substituted for hummus and can be flavored in the same way, providing plenty of tasty variations (chive, garlic, jalapeño, olive, sundried tomato, etc). White bean dip may even have a broader appeal, because, composed of white beans and olive oil, it lacks the more exotic sesame flavor provided by the tahini.

Yet, aside from making it at home or encountering it at a good restaurant here and there, where does one find white bean dip? For those who want to open a jar and dig in, the two brothers who founded Cool Beans have made it easy for you. Their jars of white bean dip require no refrigeration and are easy to keep on hand for company, as a healthy gourmet snack, or if you just want to add some oomph to a sandwich. Now, the retailers of America will have to do their part and put it on the shelves. Until white bean dip is as prevalent as hummus, you can order it online. The dips are all-natural, low-sodium, lowfat and certified kosher. Read more about Cool Beans dip and spread in the full review below.

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Our recommendations are based purely on our opinion, after tasting thousands of products each year, that they represent the best in their respective categories.


Easy Entertaining

Lazy Susan Bodum Beer Glasses
Lazy Susan & Canapé Dishes Put Food In Easy Reach. Put bean dip in the center, surrounded by bread, crackers, crudités and other favorites. The six-compartment Lazy Susan rests on a natural bamboo base. Warm, neutral colors complement most tableware. Dishwasher-safe. Item # 24095. Click here for more information or to purchase. No Coasters Needed With These Insulated Beer Glasses. These ingenious glasses from Bodum use double walls of borosilicate glass with air trapped between to insulate hot or cold drinks and prevent condensation—no wet marks on your tabletop. The award-winning design is microwave- and dishwasher-safe. Item # 22725. Click here for more information or to purchase.
Find These And Other Great Products
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Cool Beans Dip & Spread: More Haute Than Hummus


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Cool Beans is another example of a specialty product that exists because someone with a good recipe was encouraged to go into the business. In this case, the Fitzgerald brothers in Westchester County, New York were scrounging through their kitchen on a snowy day, looking for something to eat. They didn’t find any tempting jar or carton of goodies, ready to eat, but they did find white beans, olive oil, garlic and lemons. They decided to throw the ingredients into the food processor, and toasted some homemade pita chips to complete their snack.

The recipe became part of their permanent repertoire, and as happens so many times in the business, others who enjoyed the dip and spread encouraged them to package it and sell it. Beware of those words of encouragement—it’s a long, hard road, no matter how good your product is.

Cool Beans Lemon Garlic Dip
The original flavor: A serendipitous find in the cupboard. Product photography by Emily Chang | THE NIBBLE.

But Cool Beans has made it into the jar and onto the shelves, and hopefully will be available nationwide soon. In the interim, it’s sold on the Cool Beans website, and you can ask your specialty food store to bring it in. It’s easy to buy by the case, since it makes a nutritious, portable snack, a nice small gift and a cool stocking stuffer.

Continue To Page 2: Cool Beans Flavors


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