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Jun 5, 2007 10:03 PM

Kentucky Bean = Fava Bean?

I've been reading about fava beans & have always wanted to try them. When I was recently at a local produce market I thought I saw them & asked but everyone else around me knew them as Kentucky beans. They looked the same - really long & flat, with a handful of whitish beans inside. I asked a woman who was buying them & she said she'd grown up all her life knowing them as Kentucky beans, and that they cooked up really nicely with bacon, but given that there are so many bean varieties, I didn't buy them to test (regretting this).

Can anyone enlighten me? Thanks!

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  1. Not the same. Favas belong to a different family that are grown for the seeds/beans rather than the edible pods. You can only eat the fava pods when they are very small and the seeds are immature. As they get larger and the fava beans grow, the pods get tough and bitter. You can harvest the fava beans as fresh beans and they are delicious or you can leave them on the vines to dry for winter storage.

    You may have seen broad beans and folks where you live call them Kentucky beans. There are both bush and pole varieties and they come in different colors. Unfortunately, when you cook them they all turn green. Sometimes they're also called Romas.
    Shame you passed on them. They are really good. I like them with a bit of onion and bacon and cooked down a bit past the tender, crisp stage. But then I'm Southern.