The genus Phaseolus is endemic to the Western Hemisphere and includes some 70 species, five of which have been domesticated.
Beans are an herbaceous, climbing plant that feature pods that can be eaten fresh (green beans and tender beans); as well as dried seeds that are suitable for storage and later consumption (beans).
The black bean and its varieties belong to the genus Phaseolus vulgaris. All are glossy and black. They come in different sizes (some are longer or wider), but smaller varieties are preferred.
Black beans contain large amounts of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, flavonoids and Omega-3 fatty acids, which improve skin, reduce blood pressure and improve brain function.
The greatest black bean consumption occurs in the Central and Southern Gulf and to a lesser degree in the Central Highlands, Southern Highlands and the Yucatán. The greatest production is concentrated in the North Pacific region (Sinaloa and Nayarit) and the Central Highlands (Zacatecas), for exportation to markets where greater demand exists. High season runs from October to November.
Mexicans use the plant’s foliage and white flowers as a quelite that goes into broths and stews or as a complement to tamales and tacos.
The tender pod is cooked as a vegetable and included as a side dish in soups and stews. Tender seeds, raw or cooked, complement tamales and stews with sauces.
Ripe and dried, seeds are cooked in numerous recipes or as an accompaniment to stews. Cooked along with their broth in soupy recipes called caldosas, they are used in dishes that feature meat or sausage, and are refried, martajadas or ground to serve as the base for sauces or soups.


Frijol con puerco
Joroch' with squash blossom