Eating Our Way Through the West Cape May Lima Bean Festival 2016

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West Cape May, NJ – Even in the rain, the Lima Bean Festival in Wilbraham Park attracts a devoted crowd.  Who knew so many people had a thing for limas?

And who knew what you could do with a lima bean, if you tried. This year, we decided to eat our way through the annual street fair, trying one of everything. We wanted to know if all of these lima bean concoctions really do taste good.

We started with a burger. But not just any burger – this one was topped with Lima Bean Aoili and carmelized onions.

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Big thumbs up to the guys at Burger Burger! The lima bean aoli was a knock out.

Almost next door to the carnivores, Good Earth was dishing out vegan Lima Bean Chili.

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This chili had a tomato base with chunks of rutabaga, carrots and summer squash in addition to the lima beans.

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The delicate flavor meant you could taste the limas. We just wanted a little more heat.

So we wandered down to another chili vendor, to try a different version.  A guy named Uncle Joe comes every year to dish out his Lima Bean chili.

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This lima bean chili was the classic meat version. Tasty,  sweet and very tomatoey. Still no heat.
If we had to have seconds, we’d opt for another cup from the vegan folks.

But there was no talk of seconds, when we had Lima Bean Empanadas to try.

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At three for five dollars, who could resist? Empanada Mama delivered the goods. The empanada stuffed with Lima hummus was delicious but the Sweet Lima pie was the winner. Almost like a green version of sweet potato pie. Imagine that.

Despite the dessert nibble, we had a little more serious eating to do. We just had to taste the Lima Bean soup.
JB’s BBQ, who usually does a brisk business selling pulled pork sandwiches, was busy dishing out the soup.

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Count on the folks at JB’s to make sure their signature pork products are showcased. This lima soup had lots of salty pork and whole lima beans. There were a couple of other vendors also selling Lima Bean Soup, but we could not go on. We hit our limit.

Just a quick stop on the way out for a Lima Bean Lemonade.

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It was a cup of very good lemonade with some lima bean puree shaken in. Wow. Feed that to your kids.

We confess. We also picked up some Key Lima cookies from the Bird House. They were delicious.

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We trust that Sharon really did add some lima beans to the cookie dough. You’d never know it.

So, Andrew Zimmern eat your heart out. You’re from Minnesota and we know Minnesota people love their limas.
Too bad you missed this one.

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About Jane Kashlak

Jane Kashlak is a journalist, a gardener and a Cape Island resident. She's also Cape May Times' photographer. She founded Cape May Times after a long and lively career in TV news.