Raw fava beans (broad beans) are not toxic. However, they are easier to digest if you cook or fry them. It is important to cook broad beans on medium and not high heat so that the beans don’t split. Whole broad beans can be stored in the refrigerator longer than shelled beans.
From Wikipedia: “Vicia faba, also known as the broad bean, fava bean, faba bean, field bean, bell bean, or tic bean, is a species of flowering plant in the pea and bean family Fabaceae. It is native to North Africa southwest and south Asia, and extensively cultivated elsewhere. A variety Vicia faba var. equina Pers. – horse bean has been previously recognized.”
“Broad beans are generally eaten while still young and tender, enabling harvesting to begin as early as the middle of spring for plants started under glass or overwintered in a protected location, but even the main crop sown in early spring will be ready from mid to late summer. Horse beans, left to mature fully, are usually harvested in the late autumn, and are then eaten as a pulse. The immature pods are also cooked and eaten, and the young leaves of the plant can also be eaten, either raw or cooked as a pot herb (like spinach).
Preparing broad beans involves first removing the beans from their pods, then steaming or boiling the beans, either whole or after parboiling them to loosen their exterior coating, which is then removed.
The beans can be fried, causing the skin to split open, and then salted and/or spiced to produce a savory, crunchy snack. ...
Dried and salted fava beans are a popular snack in many Latin countries.
Broad beans are widely cultivated in the Kech and Panjgur districts of Balochistan Province in Pakistan, and in the eastern province of Iran. They are called bakalaink in the Balochi language, and baghalee in Persian.”
- “G6PD deficiency:
Sufferers of favism must avoid broad beans, since these trigger a hemolytic crisis.
Broad beans are rich in tyramine, and thus should be avoided by those taking monoamine oxidase inhibitors.”
Other uses of beans or the word beans:
- The colloquial expression 'not worth a hill of beans' alludes to their widespread economy and association with the peasant diet.
- In Italy, broad beans are traditionally sown on November 2, All Souls Day. Small cakes made in the shape of broad beans (though not out of them) are known as fave dei morti or "beans of the dead". According to tradition, Sicily once experienced a failure of all crops other than the beans; the beans kept the population from starvation, and thanks were given to Saint Joseph. Broad beans subsequently became traditional on Saint Joseph's Day altars in many Italian communities. Some people carry a broad bean for good luck; some believe that if one carries a broad bean, one will never be without the essentials of life. In Rome, on the first of May, Roman families traditionally eat fresh fava beans with Pecorino Romano cheese during a daily excursion in the Campagna. ...
- In Portugal and Spain a Christmas cake called bolo Rei in Portuguese and roscón de reyes in Spanish (King's cake) is baked with a fava bean inside. Whoever eats the slice containing it, is supposed to buy next year's cake.
- A similar tradition exists in France, where the fève (originally a dried bean, but often now a small china or metal trinket) is placed in the galette des rois; the person who finds it in their slice becomes the king or queen of the meal, and is often expected to serve the other guests to drink. ...
- European folklore also claims that planting beans on Good Friday or during the night brings good luck.
- Can be used as a green manure, due to nitrogen fixation it produces.
- In the Netherlands, roasted or fried broad beans are regarded as a local delicacy of the city of Groningen, and is locally called molleboon. ... The word Molleboon became a nickname for the inhabitants of the city.”
"Broad beans were a major food of old Mediterranean civilizations, particularly for the Romans and Ancient Greeks.”
"In ancient Greece and Rome, beans were used in voting; a white bean was used to cast a yes vote, and a black bean for no. Even today, the word koukia (κουκιά) is used unofficially, referring to the votes. Beans were used as a food for the dead, such as during the annual Lemuria festival.”