Definitions starting with B

ID #1505

bonavis beans

(Black); bonavis peas (White) /bóhnavis/ [DJE idem "from the place of origin, the island of Bona Vista, Cape Verde"] n. an edible bean, Dolichos lablab or D. swartzii.

Tags: food, noun, plant

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Last update: 2010-09-08 13:54
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.0

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Comment of Avril Gibson:
I just decided to look up this word to see if I was spelling it correctly. I have heard and used it all my life but don't recall ever seeing it written.

It is a bean that we eat here in Barbados. (and I am reasonably sure the rest of the Caribbean) There are a few varieties. Some are white and some are a deep reddish brown when ripe and dried. Some of the plants grow as runners (vines) and others as "up right" bonavis. We cook them in rice, either as the only bean or mixed with other peas and beans. It adds a glorious flavour to green pigeon peas when cooked in rice.

Added at: 2014-03-17 16:26

Comment of Patricia Causey Nichols:
I just came across this word in
a 1972 dissertation on market agriculture in south carolina, published by Garland Pub in 1989:
Coon, David Leroy. 1972. The Development of Market Agriculture in South Carolina, 1670-1785. Ph.D. diss. U of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign.

Coon cites a description of the way SC Indians planted corn in the 1700's : "In the spring after the corn had started to grow, bonavis peas were usually planted in the hillocks; these were picked before the corn." p. 133, 1989 Garland Publishers.
Added at: 2015-09-27 21:00

Comment of Tempro:
I also looked up the word for the correct spelling. I recently brought some dried beans back home (BEL)from B/dos and now have my first 2 plants which I will be placing in the greenhouse. Looking forward to my bonavis and rice. Thank you Martin!
Added at: 2014-05-01 17:23