January 16, 2012.
The noon weather here today is and sunny with 22 knots of breeze out of the northeast.
A blog reader wrote in with the question “What is a hamburger bean?”. That's pretty much what I said the first time I heard the term “hamburger bean”.
The hamburger is one of several different types of tropical seed. True sea beans are from the family Fabaceae. Some ride the equatorial currents all the way from Africa while others hitch a ride in the Gulfstream from South America and various islands of the West Indies. They are commonly found throughout the Bahamas and even the coast of Florida. It is said that a floating Heart Bean in the Eastern Atlantic led Columbus to believe that there was land yet to be discovered to his west.
The most common of the collectable beans is the Heart Bean. They are usually a brown/burgundy color and shaped like an idealized heart.
The Hamburgers are on the next level of desirability. The most common are the browns and the reds.
A lot of people collect them because it gets them off the boat and forces them to do a bit more walking than they might otherwise. A few of the more artistically talented of our peers turn them into jewelry.
Next up would be the Purse Beans. The purses come in various hues.
Even more rare are the Mary's Beans and Monkey Faces.
The Monkey Faces take some imagination. They're a small elongated bean that has three holes in it that if looked at optimistically resemble a face.
The Cathy's Bean is among the rarest of the beans to be found down here.