Our Story

How it all began...

I was fortunate to be brought up on a farm and on lots of wholesome food! Vegetables from the kitchen garden, apples from the orchard, milk fresh from the cow, eggs collected that day and home reared meat, and all taken for granted.

Christina as a child on a tractor Christina looking well nourished and determined!

Then, some years later, I worked in tropical agriculture in Africa and Latin America, which is probably where my fascination for the pulse (beans, peas & lentils) began. Not only did I appreciate their contribution to so many cuisines and their nutritional status, but I was excited by the enormous variety and the regional differences, as well as their ability to fertilize the soil as they grow by putting nitrogen back into the soil. Superfood and Superplant!

Christina working in the tropics Christina working with Mayan Farmers in Central America

Yes, the crops are different in the tropics, but still that reliance on simple country food. Calling it "rustic cuisine" doesn’t do it justice; it doesn’t convey the love and care that goes into preparing the food, or the tradition of handing down the recipes through the generations, or indeed just how healthy and wholesome the food is. We think "food with soul" conveys the essence of this cuisine.

If I was asked to recount one of my more memorable meals, it would have to be lunch at a truck stop on route from Khatoum to El Obeid. Sitting in a shack in the desert and being served the most delicious bowl of beans cooked in an unctuous spiced sauce of tomatoes and onions. Simple, wholesome and lovingly prepared!

Christina working in the tropics Christina refuelling at a truck stop in the Sudan

Returning to the UK, it seems to me a pity that only the vegetarians (and a few enlightened others!) are wised up to the virtues of pulses; and I wonder why they don’t have the status as in other parts of Europe. Cassoulet in France is an obvious example, or Fabada from Asturias in Spain or Salsicce e Fagioli a favourite in Tuscany.

Which brings me back to the task we have set ourselves – "giving beans the culinary status they deserve". Most importantly, we look forward to sharing with you: our passion for good food, along with our love of the bean.

Christina Baskerville

(unashamedly a bean fiend)