Are Broad Beans really evil?

I’ve never been a fussy eater and I’ve always enjoyed a wide variety of fruit and veg. I’ve never even had a problem with Brussel Sprouts (despite many being the large, slimy, overcooked variety – sorry Mum!). Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of Broad Beans… even typing the words makes me screw my nose up and almost taste the strange, ugly little bean in my mouth. Yuck.

When I was a little girl I tried all sorts of things to escape having to eat broad beans – hiding them under the mashed potatoes, putting them onto my sisters plate when they weren’t looking or simply hiding them in my pocket (the latter was less successful due to copious servings of parsley sauce).

When I was old enough to figure out that there may be an alternative way to experience broad beans Silence of the Lambs was released and Hannibal Lecter managed to reinforce all that was evil about these vile little beans. If only I hadn’t asked my friend what Fava Beans were….

Now, many years later, I am open to the idea of trying to grow my own beans. It may even be within the realms of possibility that I eat one!!

Broad Beans planted

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15 thoughts on “Are Broad Beans really evil?

  1. Hi Deborah – I had to google this!
    Broad beans (Vicia faba) are also known as fava beans, field beans, bell beans or tic beans.
    Lima beans (Phaseolus lunatus) are also known as butter beans or sugar beans.
    The Lima’s sound so much nicer 🙂

  2. Ha! I used to hate, hate, hate green beans as I had to pick them every day from our garden when I was a little girl and then it seemed like we ate them every day, even chopped up and frozen every day in winter! Now, here I am growing green beans and loving them fresh from the garden. AND I would love to try growing fava beans. Can’t say I am huge fan either but everything tastes so good fresh and cooked simply. I like your new nursery! Dirt and laundry go well together.

    • You’re right about everything tasting better when it’s fresh and cooked simply… that’s why I’m putting it to the taste with the favas. If I can eat them, and enjoy them, then it will be another one scrubbed off my “Things to do before I Die”. It’s sad that I haven’t got bigger aspirations really!!!!

  3. Count me in as one who had a bad experience with broad beans in childhood. I didn’t like eating them but I was fond of picking them. I earned good money as a bean picker in Suffolk for several summers, they were much easier to pick than runners or dwarf.As an adult my Uncle persuaded me to try some fresh picked from his garden, lightly steamed and dotted with butter. They were delicious. Like you I am planning to grow some. They seem more difficult to find here in Canada but I’m on the hunt.

    • Thank goodness you weren’t paid in beans! My friend had a strawberry picking job one summer and the farmer paid her in punnets of strawberries. She thought this was amazing as strawberries were here favourite fruit. She lasted about 3 days in the field and hasn’t eaten a strawberry since 🙂

  4. A few years ago I would have answered your question with a resounding :”Yes, they are evil!” but I have become a convert. The trick is to take them out of the pods, cook them and then take the horrible, wrinkly skins off. You probably already know this, but I didn’t. And they do need a sauce or to be mixed with other vegetables. My favourite way at the moment is Jamie Oliver’s Summer Veg Lasagne. They are mixed with spring onions, asparagus and peas (which makes it a Spring Veg Lasagne here) in a fantastic sauce of cream, vegetable stock, garlic, anchovies, mint and lemon zest. You mix cottage cheese through to make the lasagne, but the vegetables in the sauce are also yummy on their own or stirred through pasta. Go ahead – give Broad Beans another chance!

    • Hi Lyn -that recipe sounds delicious! I didn’t know about taking the wrinkly skins off either so thanks for that tip. I really am in the dark about Broad Beans as I never spend time looking for recipes (it would be like an arachnophobic reading the A-Z of spiders!!).
      You have given me much encouragement in my cooking and my bare garden x

  5. I had that reaction to many foods when I was younger, but now I like to eat almost everything. I remember my grandmother attempting to change my mind about green olives by asking me to eat one for ten days. I did it, of course, but I still did not like green olives. Now, I like olives in almost anything. I think our palate changes with age. Welcome to Blotanical!

  6. I felt the same until I started growing my own, Pick them when they’re small (no need to remove the skin from the wee beans), don’t add salt to the water (it makes then go tough) and don’t over cook. Seve warm with a light olive oil and lemon dressing. You can add fine strips of red pepper (roasted in olive oil) or sun dried tomato. If you’re a carnivore lightly fry some bacon or chorizo and add the cooked beans at the last minute to absorbe the juices. Once you start the possibilities are endless. Christine (cook and very greedy veg grower).
    PS Read Nigel Slater for inspiration either Tender (both volumes if you like fruit) or Kitchen Diaries

    • Thanks for the advice – I lent my Kitchen Diaries book to a friend and haven’t seen it since so you’ve reminded me to get it back. I love books and I’m happy to share them but sometimes I forget where they’ve gone to. Funnily enough Tender is on my wish list still (Father Christmas forgot to pack that one!).

  7. Ha, very funny! I don’t think I’ve ever had broad beans. There are many veggies that I hated growing up that I now like, possibly due to the fact that I cook them totally differently than my mother. No more boiling for long amounts of time here!

    • Thanks for your encouraging comments – I think that I’ll pick them young, steam them gently and eat them quickly! That’s assuming that I can successfully grow them at all 🙂

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