Region of Origin
Description & Origin
Fava beans, also known as “broad beans,” are a cool-weather crop in the vetch plant family, more closely related to peas and lentils than green beans. Fava beans for fresh market are usually large-seeded varieties that are harvested when mature, but not dry. Thick, fluffy pods contain 3-6 large seeds. Each seed is covered in a light green waxy skin that is usually removed prior to consumption, alt...
Health Benefits & Nutrition
Fava beans are a nutrient- and mineral-dense legume packed with protein, manganese, zinc, iron, calcium, and folate. For some individuals with a rare genetic disorder, G7PD, most common in people of Mediterranean descent, fava beans can cause ad adverse reaction called favism.
Commercial Availability (Grown for the US Market)
Traditional Culinary Uses
Fava beans are a staple part of culinary traditions throughout the Mediterranean, Western and Central Asia, and South America. In most regions, favas are primarily used in their dried form to make classic dishes such as ful medames, bissara, falafel, and a range of soups and stews. Fresh fava beans are typically considered a seasonal delicacy. They can be grilled in the pod or peeled and blanched for use in recipes. They pair particularly well with pastas, butter, and cured meats. Fresh favas can also be blended and used to make dips or spreads. In Italy, fresh favas are combined with pasta and pecorino.
Mint, Basil, Onion, Garlic, Shallot, Chile, Asparagus, Artichoke, Lemon, Cilantro, Leek, Mushroom, Rosemary, Parsley, Cream, Butter, Bacon, Ham
How to Prepare
The outer pods on most commercially harvested fresh fava beans are too mature to eat. Grabbing the tip of the pod, pull the string away along the edge, allowing the pod to be popped open. Remove the beans inside. Each seed has a seed coating that is usually removed prior to use, although it can be left on, if desired. The seeds can be peeled and then blanched, or blanched and then peeled, according to preference. Always shock fava beans in ice water after blanching to maintain their vivid color.
How to Store in the Kitchen
Fava beans can be stored in the refrigerator in a bag, in the pod or pre-shelled. Their shelf life is limited, so use as soon as possible. Prepared fava beans can be frozen for future use.
Fight Food Waste Tips for root to stem cooking
While the pod of fava beans is edible when very young and immature, the pods harvested commercially are typically too woody for consumption. But they can be composted!
Warehouse Storage & Handling
Maintain these conditions for optimal short-term storage shelf life.*
IDEAL STORAGE TEMP:
TEMP STORAGE ZONE:
40-54°F (Cool Storage)
SUBJECT TO CHILLING:
Yes – Symptoms include discoloration and rusty brown spots.
SENSITIVE TO ETHYLENE:
Yes - Medium
When assessing quality of fava beans, search for bright green, firm, and plump leathery pods. Some blemishes on the outer pod are normal. Pods should not be yellowed, dried out, or mushy.
Important Handling Notes
Fava beans are usually packed in a waxy paper to prevent moisture loss. Keep fava beans in the original packaging as long as possible to preserve shelf life.
Optimum Shelf Life
Depending on variety, conditions at harvest, and handling, fava beans may last 1-2 weeks.
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