Appalachian Food

Have You Ever Eaten Hacked Beans?

dried beans

I recently received an interesting question about beans.


Hi, Tipper.

My great grandparents and kin moved to Spokane WA from western NC in 1888. My grandmother was born here. Every summer she made hacked-beans with salt pork and a johnny cake. She claimed this was a NC recipe. Have you ever heard of or eaten hacked beans?

P.S. I love your page.

Best regards,
Deborah Akers Mitchell
(Marlow and Nance are my NC family roots)


I’ve never heard of hacked beans have you?


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  • Reply
    William J. Boone
    January 26, 2021 at 1:41 pm

    I know nothing of hacked beans, but my Pop-pop would leave late string bean and lima pods on the vines to dry in years where there had been a bountiful harvest and shell them from the pods for storage. Mom-mom would cook a mess of beans with a piece of slab bacon. They were absolutely delicious with so much more flavor than any dried bean I’ve bought at the grocery store. The dried string beans were surprisingly good, but the dried lima beans were wondrous.

  • Reply
    Tommye J Coburn
    September 9, 2019 at 8:35 am

    I’m from west TN and we call them cranberry beans. I agree with Miss Cindy about drying in the pods as Mother/G’mother/ Aunts did the same thing when ran out of time for shelling everything. We kept our shucked & dried popcorn ears in a cotton sack…just pull out an ear or two, shell and pop on a cold winter night!

  • Reply
    Helen Gardner
    August 27, 2019 at 8:40 pm

    Never heard of hacked beans and I always heard antigoglin.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    They probably ment “sacked beans”. Beans used to come in sacks, you purchased beans at the store in “SACKS”. I still purchase PINTO beans in a 25lb SACK. The Appalachian people used to say “words” that were shortened or changed slightly but had a meaning of the same, as in TAR for tire, or FAR for fire and etc.
    Appalachian people “HACKED” wheat in the fields for storage. In the East folks “HACKED” tobacco.
    So the folks probably meant “SACKED” and said “STACKED”.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    August 26, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Nope. That’s a new one to me, but let us know what it is, Tipper, so we can try it.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2019 at 10:10 am

    I don’t remember my Mother or Aunts ever using the word “hacked-beans,” but they always cooked their beans with salt pork. Your picture made me really hungry because at first glance it looked like “Purple Hull Peas or Beans” that they had down in MS and they cooked them the same way with salt pork. They were speckled purple. I haven’t been able to find any here in PA.

  • Reply
    August 26, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I have never heard of hacked beans. Most of us have probably eaten them and know them by another name. Families passed seeds down through several generations and often forgot their given name. I never heard Mom call her favorite green beans anything other than fall beans. They looked and tasted like Italian Beans with the brown speckled seeds that I never liked.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 26, 2019 at 8:28 am

    No, never heard of hacked beans. Many people add some form of pork when cooking beans and fry their cornbread. When we fry our cornbread we never add sugar and I think Johnny Cake uses a little sugar.
    Miss Cindy. You may be on to something there.

  • Reply
    Sanford McKinney Jr
    August 26, 2019 at 8:02 am

    Hack is a process by which you can use a shortcut or a more efficient way to achieve a goal or desire rather than the way which it is normally achieved. This definition is not connected with the modern day hack that is used regarding computers.
    I think the “Hacked Beans’ is referring to some faster process than the normal process of cooking soup, brown, dried beans for hours ? What that process is, I have no idea?

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 26, 2019 at 7:48 am

    New one on me. I wonder if the name arose in some yet-to-be-identified way out of the cross-country move. Like Miss Cindy, I would first suspect leather britches beans because the dish sounds just like the traditional way of fixing them. Hope somebody can solve this mystery.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 26, 2019 at 7:38 am

    Tipper–I’ve got an extensive collection of Appalachian cookbooks and have read or delved into food folkways for the region in considerable details. I don’t recall any mention of hacked beans.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    August 26, 2019 at 7:03 am

    With my Appalachian raising I thought I had heard or eaten every type of bean. Pinto, great northern, shuckey, leather britches, pickled, and even raw straight from the garden. So, I am very interested in both the post and responses. The picture looks much like the colorful October or Cranberry bean. It iso interesting to hear of old recipes once prepared by our ancestors, but sadly, I have few in my everyday life that share my interest. For example, I am still a little stunned that my granddaughter insisted on throwing away my drying leather britches when she helped clean my house. I can’t wait to hear what a hacked bean is and how it is prepared.
    I have found google cannot even help with some of my questions on food, phrases, and traditions of Appalachia. The interest was always there, but it only peaked after I found your blog while searching for a recipe. I was so tired of the comical portrayal of our people with snaggled teeth and corn cob pipes. The realization of the importance of your blog was when you encouraged each of us to write something about “Where I’m From.” It forced me look deep inside and be exceedingly proud of my heritage. I am so very proud of all we stand for, and I defend it mightily.

    • Reply
      Melissa P. (Misplaced Southerner)
      August 26, 2019 at 2:34 pm

      I was going to say, the photo looks like cranberry beans to me. I think Miss Cindy may have hit on to the answer. I never have heard of “hacked” beans, either.

      • Reply
        Terry Stites
        August 26, 2019 at 5:49 pm

        Can anyone help me with a word? Antigodlin,means lopsided or outta kilter. I’d like to know it’s origin. Any help is appreciated.

        • Reply
          August 27, 2019 at 4:18 am


          I’ve never heard the word “antigodlin”, but when I saw the word it reminded me of an old word my family elders said a lot and it was similar in sound. I don’t know the correct way to spell it, but here is what I think it should look like spelled out: SYGOGGLING or SIGOGLING. The word my elders used meant out of kilter or side-looking, or lopsided.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 26, 2019 at 4:49 am

    Nope, never heard of hacked beans. It might be the same dried beans we cook that have been dried in the pod. After drying the pods are hacked to release the beans…..just a thought.

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