Two decades after Steve Sando started Rancho Gordo in Napa, the cult hit company changed the way Bay Area restaurants and diners treat the humble bean. Chefs have been serving his ancestral legumes for years, classic fried pintos with bean tacos topped with caviar. Sando has been instrumental in educating locals about the difference between standard canned beans and older versions, many chefs have said.
While canned beans often sit on grocery store shelves for years, Rancho Gordo beans are less than 2 years old and come straight from small farms in Mexico, California and Europe. These bean varieties cover a much wider spectrum than anything in a can, from delicate and creamy white beans to chickpeas to hazelnuts and meaty beans. Chefs praise their unmatched taste and texture – and Rancho Gordo’s dedication to meticulous sourcing – for changing the bean game.