Most people are confused about string beans and green beans and are curious to know their differences. That being said, both varieties are one and the same. String beans are a type of green bean, although not all green beans are string beans.
String Beans vs. Green Beans
String beans and green beans are scientifically known as Phaseolus vulgaris. They have many common names, including common bean, French bean, string beans, haricot vert in French, and Baguio beans in Philippine English. String beans are known by that name because there was a time when they had a string running across the entire length of their pods.
They are also known as snap beans because they can break or snap easily, making a snapping sound when you bend or break these beans. As mentioned above, both bean varieties are the same; the only difference is between the two varieties of green beans, pole beans, and bush beans. Bush beans will grow in a bushy and short direction and can grow up to two feet tall.
On the other hand, pole beans are climbing beans that require support from a trellis or stake. Regardless of where they are grown, green beans can be used in many different ways. You can boil them, roast them, steam them, sauté them, or even use them as a side dish.
String beans are wide, flat, and rounded, also known as Italian flat beans. Green beans, on the other hand, including their outer pods, are considered unripe.
However, they are usually eaten as vegetables. The pod size of string beans can vary as well. Some are 3 to 4 inches (7-10 cm) long, while others are 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) long or longer.
Note: Not all green beans are green in color. Other varieties are yellow (wax beans), purple (Purple Beans), or green with purple stripes (Rattlesnake Pole Beans).
The taste of both bean varieties depends on many factors, such as the amount of time spent cooking them and the relative age of the organic produce. When cooked for a long period, or if harvested early, they will taste like grass due to an insufficient breakdown of certain polyphenolic compounds within the fruit, which requires time under intense heat to no longer be detectable.
In most cases, if the beans are perfectly cooked or roasted in such a way that these compounds are eliminated, they will present an earthy taste with a slightly sweet after-taste.
Both beans are highly versatile, consumed across many countries, and subsequently cooked in various dishes. They are also eaten on their own in their raw form. They may also be preserved frozen, which is ideal for these particular fruits.
When used in dishes, they are commonly added as either a main ingredient or as added texture to soups, casseroles, and other hearty dishes that require a dash of green. There are lots of nutritional benefits of green beans and string beans. They include;
- Green beans encourage healthy weight loss.
- They help with fiber and protein and promote the body’s general health.
- They enhance healthy bone development.
- They assist in cell division and normal DNA production.
- They can help protect your body from unwanted infectious diseases.
- Beans promote the reduction of blood cholesterol levels.
- Beans reduce free radicals in the body.
Are String Beans Called Pole Beans?
String beans are not pole beans but are related to edible bush beans. The main difference between the two varieties is the shape.
Pole beans have a straight, vertical stem, while string beans have a curved one. As a result, both varieties are difficult to harvest as they grow from the ground. However, they grow faster and produce more beans.
Why are green beans called string beans?
The name string beans are usually applied to various green beans grown for their edible pots and not their seeds. It was originally applied to the green bean because of its stringy texture when cooked. However, the benefits of string beans are many.
Firstly, they are considered healthy vegetables that can be consumed in various ways. They also contain plenty of fiber and other nutrients, including vitamin K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and folate. All nutrients are important for energy metabolism, the body’s electrolyte balance, proper functioning of the body’s red blood cells, and normal growth.
String and green beans are similar, and they are no different. They are also called snap beans because they snap easily when you bend or break them.
However, they both are rich in nutritional value and will make delicious meals and a great addition to your garden. Like other kinds of organic produce, they produce a significantly beneficial nutrient profile for the human body.