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Red Beans & Rice

with Cornbread
- Garret Dupre

Although there are only two


dishes, each has two different plants
that constitute their ingredients.
They are:
Kidney Beans
Rice
Corn
Wheat

Kidney Bean
The 'Red Beans' in Red Beans
& Rice are Kidney Beans.
Kidney Beans are a variety of Common
Bean, and Common Beans are actually
a kind of legume.
Like all other legumes, Kidney Bean
plants produce dry fruits (pods, in this
instance) which dehisce on two sides.
The entire pod is a single carpel (ovary)
with multiple ovules (beans).

Dicots
Like other dicots, the stem of
a kidney bean plant has vascules
arranged in a circle, like this:

Dicots
The root of a dicot has xylem
in the shape of an 'X' in the
middle, which you can sort of see
here:

Kidney Bean
Here are what Kidney Beans
look like:

Kidney Bean
Kidney Bean plants are
angiosperms and produce flowers.
As annuals, they only live one year.
Since the 'seeds' (beans) are composed of
two cotyledons, they are dicots. Here is a
bean with its two cotyledons removed from
their skin and separated from each other:

Kidney Bean
The petals of dicots appear in
multiples of either four or five.
The Kidney Bean flower, specifically,
is composed of five petals.
Unlike regular flowers with radial
symmetry, in which all petals are
identical, Kidney Bean flowers are
irregular with three different petal types
present on each flower.

Kidney Bean
The petal types are:
Banner
Keel
Wing
Every Kidney Bean flower is composed
of one banner petal, one keel petal, and
two wing petals, for a total of five
petals.

Kidney Bean
Here is what a Kidney Bean
flower looks like:

Kidney Bean
Like all other dicots, the leaves
of the Kidney Bean plant have
veins that form a net pattern:

Kidney Bean
Kidney Beans have the taproot
typical of dicots. However, it's
eventually outgrown by numerous
other roots.
Here is a germinating Kidney Bean
with an emerging taproot:

Monocots
Of my four plant ingredients,
the Kidney Bean is the only
dicot.
The other three plants are all monocots,
but happen to be angiosperms, dry fruits,
and annuals just like the Kidney Bean.
These are the rice, wheat, and corn
plants.
The rice constitutes the rice in Red Beans
& Rice, ground wheat constitutes the
flour from which the 'bread' part of the
cornbread is made, and of course, corn
constitutes the corn in the cornbread.

Monocots
Rice, wheat, and corn plants have
something else in common: They are all
cultivated grasses.
As a result, they all look basically the same,
and their flowers have no petals.

Monocots
Being monocots, they have
stems with vascules scattered
randomly throughout, as seen in this
cross-section of a monocot stem:

Monocots
Unlike the vascules in the
stems of monocots, the vascules
in their roots are arranged in a neat
circle, as in this cross-section of a root
from a corn plant:

Monocots
Here is another illustration of
the root system of a corn plant,
demonstrating the bushyness typical
of monocots.
Note the absence of any
discernible tap root.

Monocots
This illustration of a corn
leaf shows the monocot
leaf veins running parallel to each
other:

Rice
Here are some rice grains
still on their stalk, before they've
been separated and had their hulls
removed:

Rice
This is rice without the hull
(loose shell) but with the bran
(hard shell) still intact. The bran
gives it the brown color, and it's sold as
'brown rice.'

Rice
Finally, here is rice after its bran
has been removed. These white
grains are sold as 'white rice.'

Wheat
Moving on to the next monocot,
wheat. Here is some still inside
the hulls on the stalk:

Wheat
Here is some wheat after the
hull has been removed:

Wheat
Here is whole wheat flour.
Notice the off-white or yellowish
color. Aging, crushing and filtering
can lighten the color, but will never
result in truly white flour by
themselves.

Wheat
This is white flour. The only
way to get flour this white is to use
chemicals that bleach it.

Corn
Here are some fresh ears of
corn:

Corn
Here are some corn 'seeds', a.k.a.
kernels, separated from the cob:

The End!