HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

frozen fava beans?

david kaplan Apr 9, 2009 05:42 AM

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?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. RWCFoodie RE: david kaplan Apr 9, 2009 07:33 PM

    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
      david kaplan RE: RWCFoodie Apr 10, 2009 01:08 PM

      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
        osho RE: david kaplan Sep 11, 2012 05:03 PM

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


    2. rworange RE: david kaplan Apr 9, 2009 11:11 PM

      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
        TopoTail RE: rworange Apr 9, 2009 11:49 PM

        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
          rworange RE: TopoTail Apr 10, 2009 12:24 AM

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

          1. re: TopoTail
            david kaplan RE: TopoTail Apr 10, 2009 01:07 PM

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

        2. m
          minkus RE: david kaplan Apr 10, 2009 01:01 AM

          They have frozen Favas from Egypt at most Halal Markets

          1. j
            jsaimd RE: david kaplan Apr 10, 2009 02:30 PM

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

            5 Replies
            1. re: jsaimd
              Joel RE: jsaimd Apr 10, 2009 07:38 PM

              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
                david kaplan RE: jsaimd Apr 11, 2009 07:45 AM

                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
                  Zeldog RE: david kaplan Apr 11, 2009 06:15 PM

                  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
                    TopoTail RE: david kaplan Apr 12, 2009 11:47 AM

                    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
                    westsidegal RE: jsaimd May 27, 2014 09:07 PM

                    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. o
                    OldTimer RE: david kaplan Apr 11, 2009 09:59 AM

                    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
                      RWCFoodie RE: OldTimer Apr 11, 2009 10:06 AM

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

                    2. c
                      calny RE: david kaplan Apr 11, 2009 01:12 PM

                      Once upon a time I found frozen favas imported from France at Market Hall Produce in Rockridge (Oakland.) They were large, slightly coarse beans that were skinned. I haven't seen them there again, but haven't looked often.

                      I think that the ones at Trader Joe's are dried favas that are cooked and packaged, much like their packaged lentils. I wouldn't think that they would work well as a fresh bean substitute, but perhaps good for some of the middle eastern/eastern mediterranean uses.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: calny
                        OldTimer RE: calny Apr 11, 2009 01:21 PM

                        I think that dried favas are used in France for cassoulet, at least that's been my experience.

                        1. re: OldTimer
                          chefj RE: OldTimer Apr 12, 2009 11:51 AM

                          They use Tarbais beans for cassoulet. They are dry white bean with a slightly blocky and uneven shape. they are preferred because some of the beans tend to break down while others stay whole. This makes for a creamier cassoulet without it becoming mush.

                          1. re: chefj
                            OldTimer RE: chefj Apr 12, 2009 02:17 PM

                            You may be interested in a Mexican bean I've found...Mayacoba beans. The best I have ever had, fabulous cassoulet and maintain their integrity.

                      2. g
                        Geeba RE: david kaplan Jul 1, 2009 02:14 PM

                        I don't know about local groceries in San Francisco. However, they are impossible to find in Sacramento. A friend brings them up from Los Angeles when she visits her family. I've found an online source: International Gourmet (http://www.intlgourmet.com/), 9.95/lb, minimum 7 lb order. Ground shipping to California available.

                        1. d
                          davidg1 RE: david kaplan May 27, 2014 11:03 PM

                          Parkside Farmer's Market on Taraval carries them.

                          Show Hidden Posts