The True Red Cranberry bean is one of the oldest American bean varieties and is on the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste. It is one of the varieties being grown in the Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project.
Its geographical location is concentrated around the northeastern region of the US. The Abenaki Indians and woodsmen, who inhabited the area that is now known as Maine, historically used this bean. The True Red Cranberry bean is a rare heirloom that was rediscovered by bean collector, John Withee, after an 11-year search in Steep Falls, Maine. As their name suggests, the mature True Red Cranberry bean is a deep lipstick-red color and looks like a ripe cranberry. The beans are fat and shiny and are mostly used in their dried form.