Name that heirloom bean!

Name that Heirloom Bean!

Looking for some clean, good old-fashioned fun? Nothing meets those criteria better than a rousing game of name that heirloom bean! (Okay, technically, name that pulse, but I won’t dwell on the differences between beans and pulses now.)

Name that heirloom bean - A Legume a Day

Before we begin, pause just a moment and try to name 10 types of beans off the top of your head. Maybe you think that sounds like too many to name on the spot. I mean, of course there are some of the obvious ones: pinto, black, red kidney…but now what?

Well, I have some exciting news for you!! Beans come in SO many gorgeous shapes and sizes, and there are way more beans out there than any one (normal) human could possibly name. To open your eyes to the beauty of heirloom beans, here is a photo I took for a recent project that has several types you may not have seen before.

Name that pulse

Okay, let the games begin! Here are your challenges:

CHALLENGE 1. Name that Heirloom Bean – Free Style

How many can you name right now, without any hints or potential answer choices? Some of these are more ‘normal’ pulses you would see in a regular grocery store. If you can name more than 7 after just glancing at this photo, please contact me. I am convinced we will be the best of friends.

Name that heirloom bean - numbered

CHALLENGE 2. Name that Heirloom Bean – Multiple Choice

See how many of these 6 multiple choice questions you can get correct, using the numbered photo above. But wait, why did I not number two of them? Well, because they are breeding lines and I am not even sure if they are available to the public. I know, having all these bean connections is pretty awesome, right? I’m sure you are very jealous. Comfort yourself by proving your bean street smarts through these challenges. Answers are down at the bottom. Check at will, honor system.

  1. Alright, let’s start with an easy-ish one. Name these pulses in order: 4, 10, 14, 16.
    • A. Pinto bean, garbanzo bean/chickpea, red lentil, green split pea
    • B. Pinto bean, lima bean, red lentil, green split pea
    • C. Anasazi bean, lima bean, red lentil, green split pea
    • D. Rattlesnake bean, garbanzo bean/chickpea, red lentil, green split pea
  2. Name bean number 2.
    • A. Tinted pinto bean
    • B. Anasazi bean
    • C. Jacob’s cattle bean
    • D. Red speckled bean
  3. Do you know (or can you guess) the name of bean number 3?
    • A. Spot bean
    • B. Calypso bean
    • C. Cow bean
    • D. Dalmatian bean
  4. Next up…bean number 8!
    • A. Haunted bean
    • B. Halloween bean
    • C. Scarlet runner bean
    • D. Black butter bean
  5. How about bean number 11?
    • A. Pinto bean
    • B. Darkened pinto bean
    • C. Prairie bean
    • D. Rattlesnake bean
  6. And last but not least, what about bean number 13?
    • A. Mottled lima bean
    • B. Christmas lima bean
    • C. Blushing lima bean
    • D. The rare I’m-running-out-of-fake-name-ideas lima bean

CHALLENGE 3. Name that Heirloom Bean – But You Can ‘Phone a Friend’

Name them all (except the unnumbered ones) without answer choices provided, but you can use resources. What resources those may be…I am not sure. Maybe check out websites of fantastic heirloom bean growers like Sheridan Acres, Google ‘heirloom beans,’ or whatever comes to mind – follow your (pulse-ing) heart! And 3 cheers for food puns that are a bit of a stretch.

Answer Key to Name that Heirloom Bean

Click here to see the answers! I promise this does not download anything because if I were you, I also would not want to click a download link for a site I may not know well (although, let’s be real – if I spend this much time nerd-ing out about beans, that does probably mean I am a delightful person you can trust). Clicking just takes you to the answer key, which is another post on my website.

BONUS CHALLENGE. Tell me in the comments what your favorite heirloom bean is and why! If it is too hard to narrow it down, just pick one of your favorites. I would not be able to choose either, so I completely understand the dilemma. Too many perfect options, right?


  1. Well, I’m giving it a try (without looking at the answers)…

    1. A
    2. B
    3. D
    4. D
    5. A
    6. B

    How did I do??!!

    • I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so I’ll let you check the answer key when you’re ready. There were some hard ones in here, so don’t worry about not getting them all. It was just for fun, and to learn about some fun (and delicious) heirloom beans! Thanks for playing πŸ™‚

  2. These quiz- questions are fun! I will be working on these soon, as I am off from office next week! My ‘beanucation’ will hopefully have a good start πŸ˜ƒ I have a lot to learn.

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