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Apr 9, 2009 05:42 AM

frozen fava beans?

I discovered yesterday that Whole Foods no longer stocks frozen fava beans. They discontinued the item nationally (my friend from Washington, making the same fava-bean dip for her own Seder, texted me in a panic from her local Whole Foods a few minutes after I failed to find them at the Potrero Whole Foods).

I loved these frozen favas for pureeing, as well as for blanching and tossing with stubby pasta and guanciale for a quick dinner. Of course fresh is tastier, but the convenience of frozen favas year-round is often worth it.

Do any markets in San Francisco have frozen favas?

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  1. David, I don't know about San Francisco specifically but my experience is in general Asian grocers carry them... at least in the past I have found them at 99 Ranch and Marina, etc. on the peninsula.

    2 Replies
    1. re: RWCFoodie

      I'm at 99 Ranch Daly City all the time and it never occurred to me to look for frozen fava beans. Thanks!

      1. re: david kaplan

        Does Ranch 99 still carry these? Any other sources reported?


    2. Oddly enough I saw them today, but not in your area. 9 Islands Bakery in Rohnert Park had a freezer full of them. They are Portuguese, but I haven't noticed them before at any of the local Portuguese markets.

      3 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Frozen favas! I didn't know such a thing existed. Were the ones at Whole Foods and at 9 Islands Bakery skinned? That would be too much to hope for.

        1. re: TopoTail

          If the picture on the bag could be trusted, they were skinnned.

          1. re: TopoTail

            The Whole Foods beans were skinned -- couldn't be easier to use.

        2. They have frozen Favas from Egypt at most Halal Markets

          1. Trader Joe's was advertising them for awhile (Feb), but don't know if they still have them.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jsaimd

              Trader Joe's favas are in the refrigerated section. Imported from France, cooked and ready to eat (in a savory sauce). They were quite tasty; I bought them about two weeks ago.

              1. re: jsaimd

                Thanks for mentioning those. I did try them a few weeks ago; sold pre-cooked, they had funky odor and unfamiliar taste to me that wasn't at all like the springlike taste of fresh favas. Perhaps I don't like favas prepared in that way, or perhaps something was wrong with the package I bought. So, unfortunately, they didn't work for me as a replacement for Whole Foods's frozen beans.

                1. re: david kaplan

                  I also tried the TJ favas and was disappointed. The beans were rather small and I suspect they are one of the varieties called "horse beans". They are fava beans, inasmuch as they are the same species, but not especially tasty (I read somewhere they got their name from being used primarily as horse fodder). And they were dull brown throughout, not green like fresh or frozen favas should be. I pureed them and made a passable hummus (lots of garlic and lemon juice can make almost anything edible) , but don't plan to buy them again. They were horrible, to be honest. Too bad I don't own a horse that might appreciate them more than I did.

                  1. re: david kaplan

                    Agreed. The TJ's precooked favas were kind of interesting, but the texture was really uneven, with some of them creamy and tender, others hard and unpleasant. They were nothing like the magic of fresh favas, parboiled, skinned and sauteed in olive oil with garlic and a bit of spring onion. Sometimes I serve them like that as a side dish, sometimes I use them as a pasta sauce with capellini. I look for medium sized ones that still have fuzz on the outside of the pod, so as to cut down on the work of peeling a mess of the really small ones.

                    Some people live for spring asparagus. I live for spring favas.

                  2. re: jsaimd

                    i'm in southern california and, yesterday found bags of frozen fava beans at trader joe's.
                    iirc, they were imported from italy.

                    for fresh fava beans, GOOD EGGS, delivers them in southern california.
                    i believe GOOD EGGS has an operation in northern CA.

                  3. 99 Ranch had frozen favas last year. I don't recall whether they were "skinned" or not...probably not. I would think that the unskinned beans keep better in the freezer. You may have to look for them under their British name..."broad beans". I recall paying about $1.50 lb, and that is pretty cheap.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: OldTimer

                      Yes, broad beans is correct - the ones I've bought were peeled/skinned