Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fresh Fava Beans


Before coming to Italy, I was very unfamiliar with fava beans and had definitely never eaten them. The first time we were on our own for food was very intimidating because of the language barrier.  Luckily Dr. Lombardini ended up choosing the same restaurant as Michael and I. When the starters came out, the first plate contained a pile of large green pods, fava beans. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the taste of them.

            Fava beans, Vicia faba, are native to Africa but are produced and cultivated in other areas of the world. This resilient legume is very easy to grow and manage because of its ability to survive in harsh climates and soil with high levels of salt. This crop is also beneficial to keep in a garden because as a legume, the plant can keep the soil fertile and healthy.   
It's refreshing to focus on a plant that is not very popular in the U.S. and to see the connection between this legume and the Italian culture. 
The use of fava beans dates back to prehistoric times and these seeds were one of the few beans available to people in the ancient world. In Italy, fava beans are quite popular because they have been grown, eaten, and sold here for so long. These legumes are used in salad, soups, pastes, and fillings  depending on your world location. They are available fresh in most restaurants and markets in springtime and early summer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comment will appear if approved. Thank you.