A firm, medium-size bean with a dark red skin and cream-colored flesh. Its full-bodied flavor makes it particularly popular for dishes like chili con carne and red beans and rice. On the downside, it's an enthusiastic producer of flatulence. Unless you live in an area that grows kidney beans, you won't find them fresh but will have to settle for the dried or canned forms. White kidney beansreferred to as cannellini beanslack the robust flavor of their red cousins, and are only available dried or canned. The tiny, tender French kidney beans are called flageolets and may be purchased dried, canned and, sometimes, frozen. See also beans.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.