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Fava Beans ...

I'm going to a Silence of the Lambs inspired party next week and really want to bring a dish that highlights fava beans. I realize they are not in season, but where can I find them?

I live in Cambridge and don't particularly care if these beans are dried, canned, or fresh. Any ideas, folks?


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  1. Fava beans are surprisingly hard to find, but I am sure you could find them canned at any larger supermarket.

    Whole Food's (at least the one on Symphony) definitely has them dried, as I just bought them yesterday (to make Ful Medames). They aren't by their house brand or Goya (who together comprise most of WH's beans), but by a "gourmet bean" company that sells small 12oz packages.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rlove

      I tried the big Whole Foods on River Street with no luck. I'll give Symphony a shot!

      1. re: ajbarillaro

        You can get them canned at many places that carry Middle Eastern goods; the shops near Haymarket have them (don't know the name of the street, but its the one where the Fri/Sat outdoor Haymarket takes place...also, its the street behind Union Oyster House). You can also get them dried (Goya) at Shaw's in Eastie (Central Square), and I imagine at other Shaw's too where they have foods from Latin America or Market Basket.

      2. I would check the produce place on Pamenter st in the NE for fresh. Whole foods has them frozen I know. Maybe as a hostess gift you can bring some lotion in a basket.

        1 Reply
        1. re: cassoulady

          I haven't been able to find frozen at WF since the summer.

        2. What type of liver are you serving? You know, it just isn't Silence of the Lambs without the Fava Beans, Chianti, and liver.

          1. I don't think you need to bother with canned. You can buy them frozen year round, Market Basket is the best supermarket bet for those as they always have them with the frozen fish, although others do carry them. If you can get over to Cambridge St, Courthouse seafood and other stores sometimes have smaller younger favas in the freezer. MB used to carry these sometimes too, but haven't seen them for a while. If you want to bring a Fava based snack, both Portuguese and Italian stores offer fried favas too. At Bob's in Medford they have a good sized takeout container for $3.99 (they are a bit tough though).

            2 Replies
            1. re: itaunas

              the favas at MB are iirc Gonsalves and are pretty good, they're frozen in their shells. the Gonsalves frozen sardines are also top notch.

              1. re: itaunas

                Oh yeah, fried favas! I've gotten yummy ones at one of the Middle Eastern groceries in Watertown; I think it was Massis. And they'll definitely have dried. Canned too, but I don't know if they have canned ones that aren't pre-seasoned.

              2. I could be hallucinating, but I thought I remembered seeing fresh favas as Russo's as recent as a few weeks ago. Always a good place to call and check.

                That sounds like a fun party - hard to eat through the face mask though...
                Hope y'all make some Dr. Chilton style greasy crab cakes - lamb lollipops -
                Party favor - lotion in a basket!

                1. I love fava beans and my Portuguese husband makes them regularly. The Roche Bros in Quincy carries the Gonsalves brand of dry fava's in the international foods section. I'm sure the other larger Roche Bros stores would probably carry it as well.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mwk

                    Sorry to be off-topic, but mwk, do you think your husband would share his recipe/s on the homecooking board? I posted requesting Portuguese fava recipes a while ago, but didn't get much response.

                  2. If you're looking for inspiration in cooking them, try the Habas con Jamon at Taberna de Haro. Simply prepared with olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, and small cubes of Spanish ham, this dish is absolutely delicious! We order it every time we go.

                    1. Hey all. Thanks for all the support! I ended up getting some dried fava beans at Sevan in Watertown.

                      As for the party, Chianti is definitely on the list. Liver is not going to happen as I'm a vegetarian and most of the other party-goers are as well. Although, my roommate is making a vegetarian pate. That's as close as we're getting.

                      Thanks again Chowhounds!

                      1. My favorite things to do with frozen favas is to skin them, braise them with onions and thyme in a little butter and chicken broth, mush them somewhat, and eat the resulting yumminess on crackers.

                        Other ideas?