Regular readers will be aware that I recommend Napolina brand canned beans in my recipes – that’s about to change.
I noticed a fall-off in quality a few months ago, with an increasing number of hard beans in the cans, but thought it was just a blip. However, I made another batch of roasted cauliflower and parsnip soup a few days ago and, for a change, spiked it with Harissa (which gave it an unexpected, and not entirely pleasant, citrus edge – perfectly edible, just not what I wanted), and added 3 cans of chickpeas for protein.
With the first bowl it became clear that at least one whole can of chickpeas was almost completely raw. Spitting them out from one bowl was bad enough, but I’d made enough for 6 bowls of the stuff – no way was I going to repeat that for the remaining 5! So it got tossed.
Next day – Friday – I felt as sick as a dog. Coincidence? No idea.
Anyway, from now on I’ll keep a few cans on hand for emergencies (butter and cannellini beans still seem reliable), but I’ll mainly cook beans myself in the slow cooker. It’s a very cheap and easy process and, once under way, needs little or no input from me – a perfect Spoonie method, especially with a modern, lightweight slow cooker (one with a metal inner pot, not a heavyweight crock).**
As for an alternative brand of canned pulses, sorry, but I really have no idea, other than that every brand I’ve tried over the years, except Napolina, has been dire.
**Amazon are currently out of stock, but other suppliers listed have it.