State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600698
The fava bean looks somewhat like a large, overgrown
green pea. Inside, the pale green, velvety pod is tightly
packed with about six to eight beans that resemble large
round limas. As with limas, the pods are edible only when
they are very young and immature. As a rule, the pods are
discarded. Fava beans, if available, arrive in spring and
are out of season by early summer. California and New
Jersey produce most of the U.S. crop.
Some people are allergic to raw fava beans and
ingestion of the uncooked favas can result in mild or acute
discomfort and, in rare cases, can induce a coma. The
cooked fava is not toxic.