Γίγαντες

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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alan refail
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Γίγαντες

Postby alan refail » Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:27 pm

Or, if you prefer, Gigantes.

I may have a dislike of runner beans, but I have tried these for the first time this year. They are genuine runners from Greece, but are harvested when the pods turn papery-brown. There are only between one and three beans per pod, but they are huge. I picked the first ones today; there will be masses more.
We will freeze them fresh (as we do with borlotti) and use them for the Greek peasant dish Γίγαντες πλακί (Gigantes plaki).




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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby Monika » Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:04 pm

Dear Alan, when you have eaten all those, I think I would be inclined to keep out of your way for a while!
Interesting though.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby Motherwoman » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:31 am

Do you dry them to store Alan? Or use as a fresh bean like a Broad? They must take a bit of soaking if dried.

MW
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alan refail
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby alan refail » Tue Oct 07, 2014 6:57 am

They are usually dried, but I will freeze them fresh from the pod. That way they need no soaking and take less time to cook.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby FredFromOssett » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:25 am

What variety are your Γίγαντες; and can they be sourced in the UK? I should like to grow some as we love Γίγαντες when in Greece.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby Tony Hague » Tue Oct 07, 2014 1:36 pm

I'm not sure if greek Gigandes are all a particular named variety, but for Gigandes Plaki and most other Greek dishes, I have found the following good substitutes:

Runner bean Czar
Butter bean Fagiolo de Spagna (Seeds of Italy)

It may be peasant food, but it is delicious. The best I have had were at a small cafe in Megala Chorafia on Crete. Mmm.
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alan refail
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby alan refail » Wed Oct 08, 2014 11:37 am

FredFromOssett wrote:What variety are your Γίγαντες; and can they be sourced in the UK? I should like to grow some as we love Γίγαντες when in Greece.



Hi Fred

The seeds are available from Real Seeds, which is where I got mine.

http://www.realseeds.co.uk/runnerbeans.html
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby Tony Hague » Wed Oct 15, 2014 9:22 am

Thanks for that Alan - I think I'll get some of those for next year.

This year I've got the Seeds of Italy Fagiolo de Spagna - but it is looking like I'll have a struggle to get them dry. If anyone has any tips on getting beans dried when the weather is not on your side, much appreciated ...
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:14 am

Aren't dried runner beans supposed to be toxic unless you soak them over night and then pour the soaking water away and then boil them rapidly for 10 minutes in fresh water? Or is there new information about their use?

I've used them in stews after carefully doing the above and they taste very nice and I've had no ill effects, but wouldn't want to risk making myself ill by cutting corners.
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alan refail
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby alan refail » Wed Oct 15, 2014 2:08 pm

Many types of beans contain the toxic lectin phytohaemagglutinin. This is particularly associated with red kidney beans.
I would not worry too much about it as it is destroyed by cooking.
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Cred air o bob deg a glywi, a thi a gei rywfaint bach o wir (hen ddihareb Gymraeg)
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby RandA » Fri Nov 28, 2014 7:37 pm

i planted these the first time this year, I think we were helped by the amazing weather in September, this helped dry them on the vine, and my beans were huge and I have dried them all for winter food. Anyone who has been to Greece and tasted big beans will love these.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby FredFromOssett » Tue Dec 01, 2015 9:27 pm

The Gigantes have performed excellently; 7 plants sown having yielded approximately 1.5 kilos shelled weight of beans. Never having grown this type of bean before I have nothing with which to compare yield, but it strikes me as pretty good; certainly I am happy with it.
The flavour of the beans, cooked in Greek style, compares very favourably with those we eat in Greece. I shall have no hesitation in growing them again next year.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby Tony Hague » Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:48 pm

Mine have done well too. I had just about given up hope of getting the beans dried on the plant, but when I went back to pull them up, the frost had killed the plants, but the beans had dried nicely. I love them cooked the Greek way, but I also had some at the weekend cooked with chorizo, tomato and home smoked jalapeno and pasilla chillies. Very nice.
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Re: Γίγαντες

Postby sally wright » Thu Dec 03, 2015 12:39 am

Dear All,
these are two methods albeit rather similar of drying beans.
A food dryer if it has a fan only setting is good if you want to replant them.
Stand the tray with the beans in front of a household room fan.

With both methods stir the beans daily until they are very hard. Then store in paper bags in a warm dry place such as a spare bedroom. If you are troubled with pea and bean weevil eating your stored seeds then it is a good idea to put them into a plastic bag (over the paper one) seal it tightly and then freeze the beans for about a week. When they come out resist the temptation to open the plastic bag until the seeds have come back to room temperature; if you don't then condensation will form on the seeds and make them damp.

Always save at least three years worth of bean and pea seeds as crop failures can always occur at any stage between sowing and harvesting. For a giant bean variety always save the largest beans for replanting. P & B seeds will keep for about three to five years depending on storage conditions.
Regards Sally Wright.
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