A special kind of common bean is the nuña, or popping bean, which has been cultivated for several thousand years in the high Andes. It can be popped by just 3–4 minutes of high dry heat—a great advantage in the fuel-poor mountains—or in the microwave oven. It doesn’t expand nearly as much as popcorn and remains fairly dense, with a powdery texture and nutty flavor.
From the book On Food and Cooking (2nd edition) by Harold McGee. © 2004 Harold McGee.
By permission of Scribner, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.