Versatile bastards

Beans are pretty versatile bastards, but I never thought of frying them into a crunchy snack that puts potato chips to shame. But many other more clever people in various Asian countries have, fortunately, and it’s time the rest of us catch up and get acquainted with fried broad beans. I found several brands of the garlic- and chili-seasoned beans—also called fava, field and horse beans—at 99 Ranch Market (4220 Florin Road). I bought nearly a dozen bags of the snacks to determine which brand and flavor I favor, because, as I needlessly—and sheepishly—explained to the check-out clerk, “I like beans.” So far, the brand Nice Choice has been the nicest choice. Find them next to the boat-shaped packages of the very unvegan fried tiny crabs. Bastards.