Edamame (Vegetable Soybeans) Variety Trial at the Neely-Kinyon Farm, 2001
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Interest in edamame, or vegetable soybeans, has increased in the United States in recent years. Edamame are harvested when immature, similar to green beans. Immature soybeans have less of a “beany flavor,” which appeals to American consumers. Edamames are boiled, then served either in or out of pods as a snack or in soups, salads, or vegetable dishes. Edamames usually are harvested at 85% pod fill. Pod color and size can be used to assess quality, with high-quality pods having 2–4 seeds/pod and a pod length of approximately 2.5 inches. Beans are chilled for 3–10 hours after harvest to help limit sugar and amino acid degradation. In 2001, edamame research trials were established on organic fields at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Farm and processed at Iowa State University to determine yield and taste.