While growing up in Texas there were Pinto Beans...that is what we used as a side with almost all of our meals. Sometimes, but not often, we would have a can of pork n beans. I did not even know what kind of bean was in that can.
When I moved north, I discovered people used Red beans and navy beans, which are white. Since moving back to Texas, I have started using some black beans, garbanzo beans, and of course, the good ole pinto bean. Did you know that each bean has a different flavor? Black is ok...my daughter makes brownies out of black beans..I have seen a pinto bean pie, but have never been brave enough to try it. I might eat it, but I don't think anyone else would. So anyway, walking down the bean isle..there are black, pink, red, pinto, navy, lima, baby lima, and yellow. Today am cooking Yellow beans. I have never heard of them, so we will see how they stack up with the pinto...after all pinto is the favorite around here.
This is the brand that I find in most Texas stores. They have a nice clean, uniform bean. http://casserolebean.com/index.php
I am not soaking my beans...I think it gives them a washed out flavor...I am bringing them to a boil and then transferring them to the crock pot along with 1/2 diced onion. After they are almost cooked, I will salt and add more flavoring if I think they need it. I want to be able to "taste" the bean. I probably should not cook them with the onion, but it is already in the pot. Oh well, next time I will leave it out.