Kidney beans are so called because of their shape and come in very many sizes and colours, from ivory-white to blood-red and black. Although differing a little in flavour and looks, they are often interchangeable in recipes.
Dried beans last for years if kept in a dry, dark place, safe from pests. Canned cooked beans last as long and should be a basic in every store cupboard.
Dried kidney beans of all kinds should be whole and shiny. Long storage makes them prone to insect intrusion, so if buying in bulk, inspect carefully. Pre-packed dried beans are usually more reliable.
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