Thursday, December 5, 2013

I LOVE fava beans of any kind but for some reason have not grown them in Denver they were brutally cold tolerant and self sowed readily, here they are a winter crop, so I'll buy a bag of dried ones from the store (hopefully) as a cheap source of seeds. The kind I grew in Denver had amazing white and black flowers that reminded me of zebras. For years I was paranoid to try them due to that possible, sometimes fatal, enzyme reaction that affects a TINY number of people whose ancestry stems from a small region in Europe (they are not a bean but a Vetch). Great source of protein and to me very satisfying eating. I was turned onto them not long after I moved to Denver in 1987 by a very gifted elderly gardening neighbor who grew vast numbers of them in his back yard. Today my 84 year old Italian neighbor told me the name her family called them (lupinta?) and that her Mom would soak raw ones in vinegar, then each bean had the skin peeled off to eat the inside as finger food just like my neighbor did except he picked them right up off the frozen ground and ate them right there. There are many kinds...I see bags of small seeded types at Asian markets but I will hold out for the giant ones I grew in Denver that I got from that neighbor.....much bigger than a lima bean. In Denver they were insanely cold hardy...late/early hard freezes and snows did not faze them, but as soon as spring warmth settled in, they failed quickly.

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