My beans this year are of two different varieties. One of these is "Imperial Green Longpod", the seeds of which I bought at the Hampshire Potato Day in January. The plants produce long slim, very green pods, with very little "internal padding". Each pod usually has about 6 or 7 beans.
The other variety is "De Monica", which were kindly supplied by the people at Marshalls. "De Monica" has produced short, fat pods, each with 4 or 5 beans, and lots of soft "internal padding".
Some of the pods however have been very strangely-shaped. I attribute this to the sap-sucking antics of the swarms of Blackfly that have infested the plants. These mis-shapen pods delivered just a couple of beans each.
The colour of the beans is very different too. The "De Monica" ones are very pale grey-green, whereas the "Imperial Green Longpod" live up to their name by being a bright (Jade?) green.
|"Imperial Green Longpod"|
In terms of flavour, I can't say that I can discern any difference between the two varieties, but that is probably because we don't typically eat Broad Beans on their own, so the flavour may be altered by the presence of other flavours.
I know that this has been a very bad year for Broad Beans because the Blackfly has been so prolific.
Many of my gardening contacts have said that their Broad Beans have been a complete washout, so I reckon I have done quite well! I must confess though that I am slightly disappointed with the yield from my plants. They produced masses of flowers, but only a modest proportion of them were pollinated. We hear all the time about the decline in the bee population, so I guess this is evidence of it.