Pole beans are long vining beans. They can be flat podded types
or more slender round-podded varieties that can be picked young to
use as French or filet beans -- 'haricot verts.' There are varieties that
are particularly well-suited to being used as 'haricot verts' but most
of them seem to be bush types. 'Fortex' is a pole bean variety that is
well suited to being picked young for 'haricot verts' or filet beans.
(Me, I like large, tender flat-podded pole bean varieties myself and
only eat 'haricot verts' *very* occasionally at ambitious restaurants.)
"French beans" might also refer to varieties that are used for green shell
beans (usually with the word 'horticultural' plumped into the middle). These
are also sometimes called 'flageolet' beans. The immature beans are what
you are after. Some of these varieties are dual purpose in that you can
harvest young beans to cook as snap beans or wait until the beans inside
size up (but are nowhere near dry) and shell them out to cook as fresh beans.
And "French" in relation to beans is also used for normal full-sized round
podded beans that have been run through a slicer to cut them into strips that
maybe vaguely resemble authentic 'haricot verts.'
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)
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