Cannellini beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are relatives of the kidney bean; in fact, they are sometimes called white kidney beans because they look like just that. They are also called fazolia beans and are popular in Italian cuisine. They are about a half inch long, kidney shaped, and have a tough skin. Their flavor is mildly nutty and their texture is smooth and creamy when cooked. This bean was originally cultivated in Argentina by Italian immigrants and later taken to Italy where they are now grown commercially.