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I am looking for a way to process beans, or a variety of bean that is as flavourless as possible, to get a "clean slate" for making vegetarian cutlets

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    I would suggest using something fairly non-aggressive like a cannelini. – SAJ14SAJ May 5 '14 at 20:28
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In most beans, heat around ~104°C to ~110°C will destroy many of the flavour compounds (a slightly different but precise heat is used for different bean varieties)

Commercially beans are steamed in that temperature range to neutralise them before being processed (e.g. making bean derivatives, or milks)

For domestic processing you could try steaming them in a home pressure cooker to achieve the same effect

Also, many beans are soaked at ~60°C for some hours prior to processing to reduce the "fart" sugars

  • Wouldn't this apply to essentially all cooked beans then? – SourDoh May 5 '14 at 21:00
  • @sourd'oh Yes, it should do. Starting with the most flavourless would help, but what one that is might be a poll – TFD May 5 '14 at 21:02
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    Commercial canning is generally pressure canning, and people tend to use canned beans to avoid the long cooking times, so everyone's already eating beans that have been cooked above 100C. I'm asking if you think that all of those beans taste the same. (Along with that, I'm a bit skeptical of the implication here that 100C coincidentally is both the boiling point of water and the temperature at which the flavor compounds in beans break down - presumably boiling them at 100C would also destroy flavor.) – Cascabel May 5 '14 at 22:24
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    Ah, I see. I guess your canned beans must be different; pretty sure I can taste plenty of difference between various canned beans I've had. (And I don't just mean variations in salt, and they don't list other flavoring ingredients.) – Cascabel May 6 '14 at 1:20
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    While this answer has been modded down, it's largely correct (despite the debate about TFD's taste buds and canned beans). In commercial situations where it is desirable to remove flavor (and particular "beany" flavor) -- like soymilk production or red bean paste for sweets -- the most common processing steps are long boiling or steaming at high temperatures and/or multiple soaks followed by discarding the soaking liquid. While all canned beans don't "taste the same," their flavors are often significantly muted compared to slow-simmered beans which have retained all soaking liquids. – Athanasius Jun 21 '14 at 18:21
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In my opinion, butter beans(Lima beans in the US?) are very neutral and sound suitable for what you want.

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Canellini beans seem really neutral to me. Pinto beans might also work, or black eyed peas.

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