BLACK BEAN -- Also known as turtle beans, black beans are highly important to the various cuisines of Latin America and the Caribbean. These small, jet-black beans come to market dried, packaged in plastic bags or sold in bulk. Use within one year of purchase. Cooked black beans are also available canned in some parts of the country. They have an earthy, meaty flavor and a mealy texture. Black beans are used in soups, stews, salads, and bean dips. They go well with pork, rice and greens.