Black beans are small beans with deep black skins, an earthy flavor, and a mealy texture. Also called turtle beans, they are available dried and precooked in cans.
To sort and rinse dried black beans:
Spread the beans in a single layer on a platter or tray. Pick out and discard any discolored and misshapen beans and impurities such as small stones and fibers. Transfer the beans to a colander or sieve. Rinse well under cold running water.To soak and rehydrate dried black beans: Place the cleaned beans in a bowl of fresh cold water to cover and soak for 3-8 hours at room temperature; drain well. Or, place beans in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and soak for 1 1/2 hours; drain well.For other bean varieties, see adzuki, borlotti, cannellini, cranberry, fava, flageolet, Great Northern, green, Italian green, kidney, lima, pinto, red, white (navy), and yellow wax beans and chickpeas, green lentils, and lentils.