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Fava bean pods are thick and spongy, containing 2 to 7 large, flat, bright green beans. While the fava pods are inedible, the beans are tender, with a sweet, mild flavor and are similar in shape to a lima bean. The bean's skin is thick and their texture can range from starchy to creamy depending on how they are prepared. The young leaves, shoots and flowers of the fava plant are all edible.
Fava beans are available throughout the Spring and some summer months.
Fava beans may also be referred to as broad beans and are botanically classified as Vicia faba.
In Crete fresh fava beans are shelled and eaten as companion to tsikoudia, a traditional Cretian alcoholic drink.
Fava beans are one of the oldest crops known, with their recorded cultivation extending into prehistoric times. A bean in name only, botanically the fava is a type of vetch. Like the bean, the vetch is also a legume but the vetch is a climbing or twining plant that prefers a cool moist climate and is even tolerant to a light frost, unlike the bean that thrives best in the heat of long and nurturing summer days.
Recipes that include Fava Beans. One is easiest, three is harder.