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Fava Beans

Fava Beans

by Top of the Hill on April 23, 2023

Fava beans, also known as broad beans, are a delicious and nutritious legume that is part of the pea family. They have been grown for thousands of years in many regions around the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. The Fava bean has a vast and unique history throughout different cultures. Greeks believed that the fava bean represented the entire universe while the ancient Romans had much darker ideas. It was believed that the spirits of the dead lived within the fava bean, due to their black spotted flowers and hollow stems they believed that the plants connected the earthly plain to Hades, providing a path back to earth for souls to live in the smooth fleshy beans. Despite these superstitions, fava beans have remained a popular ingredient in many cuisines throughout history.

Did you know that fava beans have even made an appearance in pop culture? In the movie The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lecter famously mentions fava beans during his interview scene. It just goes to show that fava beans truly are a timeless ingredient.

Fava beans are a good source of protein, fiber, and essential nutrients such as iron and vitamin C. They have a creamy texture and a slightly nutty flavor that pairs well with many different ingredients. To prepare fava beans for cooking, start by removing the beans from their pods. Take a knife and cut part of the end off of the pod, pulling the string that runs down the length like you would when peeling a banana. Repeat on the other end so that both ends and strings of the pod have been removed. Then, take your knife and slice between each bean in the pod and blanch the beans in boiling salt water for a few minutes, and remove the outer skins by squeezing them gently. This will reveal the bright green inner beans, which can be used in various dishes.

Once you've cooked and peeled your fava beans, you can use them in a variety of dishes, such as soups, stews, salads, or dips. They add a nice texture and earthy flavor to soups, making them a perfect comfort food for cold winter nights. A salad with fresh herbs and a simple vinaigrette is another delicious way to enjoy fava beans. For a simple yet satisfying recipe, try making a garlic and herb fava bean dip by pureeing cooked fava beans with olive oil, garlic, and your favorite herbs.

These beans are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can add flavor and nutrition to your meals. Whether you're looking to try something new or incorporate them into a favorite dish, fava beans are worth exploring. Visit our store to pick some up for your next culinary adventure today! 

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