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From: Dave (
Subject: Re: Tough Beans!
Date: March 4, 2005 at 3:00 pm PST

In Reply to: Tough Beans! posted by CC on May 9, 2003 at 10:35 am:

According to the definitive book on food science, "On Food and Cooking: the Science and Lore of the Kitchen" by Harold McGee, salt does not toughen beans, contrary to popular myth. It actually slows the rate at which the beans absorb water initially, but they do soften.

The three things that will toughen beans are acids, sugars and calcium. Calcium may come from hard water, or from ingredients such as molasses.

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