The Fava Bean (Vica Faba) called fave in Italian (pronounced "fa-vay"), is a flat, oval bean about 3/4 to 1 inch in length. It has an assertive, almost bitter earthy flavour and granular texture. It's also referred to as faba, broad, horse, English, Scotch, field rounded, or the Windsor Bean. Fava Bean Facts The Fava bean dates back to ancient Egypt as a staple in the diet of the pyramid builders. Cultivation can be traced back to the bronze age in Switzerland and the iron age in Great Britain. Fava beans are very high in protein, health-benefiting antioxidants and phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. Beans are cholesterol-free and contain no saturated fat. Tasty Tips and Storage Fava beans mix well with cheese in dishes, such as a good pecorino. When you buy fresh fava beans, look for pods with an overall light green colour. In Italy, "fave" are eaten in soups and salads, in pasta recipes, or fried as an appetizer. Fresh fava beans are also enjoyed in Greece, often stewed with artichokes. Like most beans, dried lava beans benefit from soaking before cooking. Soak them for six to eight hours before cooking, or bring to a boil in water, remove from heat, cover and soak for 1 hour. Always drain soaking water before cooking. To cook add fresh water and cover the beans by two inches. Boil uncovered for about 10 minutes and skim off any foam. Cover pot and simmer for between one and two hours. Add seasonings as desired; beans benefit from adding salt during the last half hour or so of cooking. Like most stored foods, beans are best stored in the absence of oxygen and light, which can speed rancidity and fade bean colour. Store in a cool dark pantry in our resealable bags or an airtight container. Refrigerated/frozen storage isn't recommended for dried beans, which will last for a year or more properly stored in the pantry.