• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Fava vs Broad Vs lima vs butter beans :-)  RSS feed

 
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
What's the difference between these beans ? I notice that real seed co differentiate and say that  Fava beans cannot be grown where I live http://www.realseeds.co.uk/runnerbeans.html
whilst I notice on the  salts spring catalogue they do not differentiate between them https://www.saltspringseeds.com/collections/fava-or-broad-bean-seeds-vicia-faba

David
 
master steward
Posts: 10287
Location: Left Coast Canada
1722
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Broad beans are a category that describes a shape of bean.  Favas are a specific kind of broad bean.

Broad beans include limas, favas, and some runner beans.

Favas are a cold weather bean and are often overwintered or planted at the same time as barley or snow peas.  Most broad beans are hot weather beans. 

It says you're in France.  They grew lots of Fava beans there in the Middle Ages.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 10287
Location: Left Coast Canada
1722
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
ops, to actually answer the question.

The first link is to runner beans - native to the Americas but grow awesome well in the UK.  Needs warm enough weather to grow but won't set in very hot climates. 

The second link is to fava beans, native to the Middle East if I remember right, but one of the main staple foods in Europe from Roman times to the introduction of the potato.  Likes cool to cold weather.  Great for overwintering or planting in the early spring. 
 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
so fava beans are broad beans then ?You can tell I have not tried them until this year :-)
 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
So butter beans are ?

David
 
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Butter beans are lima beans. I much prefer fava beans and am very lucky that they grow really well here. I find lima beans to be much starchier than favas. I use favas like others use shelling peas.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1924
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
52
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tried dried fava  beans. I found the skins to be too fiberous,and the beans I had were too small to be worth peeling.
That said, I might plant them for fresh eating, especially if I can get the bigger ones.
 
gardener
Posts: 1445
Location: Ladakh, Indian Himalayas at 10,500 feet, zone 5
160
food preservation greening the desert solar trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been trying to figure this out for years, as there is a bean grown locally where I live, traditionally, and I've been trying to figure out the English or Latin name for it.

What I understand is that Vicia faba in British English is "broad bean," and in American English is "fava bean." It seems that varieties with smaller seeds may be called other names, rather than "broad bean." The Vicia genus is vetches, but broad bean varieties are not weedy climbers like some of the other vetches.

In the Oxford dictionary on my computer, "butter bean" is "a lima bean, especially one of a variety with large flat white seeds that are usually dried." Lima bean is defined as "an edible flat whitish bean, Phaseolus lunatus (or limensis)" so in other words, it seems that lima beans are not in the V. faba species or even genus.

The same dictionary says "runner beans" are Phaseolus coccineus, which is the same genus as many of our most common beans. For example Phaseolus vulgaris includes haricot beans, kidney beans,  black turtle beans, "french beans," and most things that we eat as green beans.

I'm pretty sure our local variety is a V. faba.
 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
and just to confuse me even further here in france they have yet another set of catégories

David
 
Posts: 62
Location: NRW/Germany
7
food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This will be my first picture upload, so fingers crossed. Fava beans and common beans are easy to distinguish, if you look at the seed. In common beans you find the navel (where the seed was connected to the pod) in the middle, where the small cavity is. In fava beans it is located on one of the "corners". I hope my crude drawing will make it more clear.
beans.png
[Thumbnail for beans.png]
 
Philipp Mueller
Posts: 62
Location: NRW/Germany
7
food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To make it more confusing, most common language categories of beans are not named after species, but after use (green beans, dry beans) or growth type (bush bean, climbing bean, and to some extent broad bean). So if you want to be certain, go with the latin name.
Here is a nice list.
 
Mother Tree
Posts: 10478
Location: Portugal
1184
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I started trying to sort the bean-mess out once but got distracted by other things.

Below is a copy-paste from another post I made here which might help a bit.

I've been trying to untangle some of the bean-family-tree. 

This is the only reasonably easy to understand diagram I managed to find, though it's not exactly comprehensive.



I found that here.

Phaseolus species are all from central and South America
Phaseolus vulgaris - french bean, common bean, kidney bean, flagelot, haricot vetts
Phaseolus coccineus - runner bean, scarlet runner, haricot's d'espagne
Phaseolus lunatus - lima bean, madagascar bean, butter bean
Phaseolus acutifolius - tepary bean

Arachis hypogaea - peanut, monkey nut, from America

Pisum sativum - pea, from Europe and Near East

Vicia faba - broad bean, fava, from the Mediterranean

Lens culinaris - lentil, from the Mediterranean

Vigna unguiculata - cowpea, asparagus bean, black eyed pea from Ethiopia
Vigna radiata - mung bean, green gram
Vigna angularis - adzuki bean

Cicer arietinum - Indian gram, garbanzo bean, chick-pea from Ethiopia

Glycine max - soybean, from China

There seem to be a few others too, but these are the common ones. 

The common names are, I suspect, going to get confusing, but I'll de-tangle as best I can.  I'm using a copy of Roger Philips book about Vegetables as my guide as he does seem to attempt to be fairly complete and accurate, unlike most books which tend to describe vegetables by their use rather than their families.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
Posts: 10478
Location: Portugal
1184
bee bike books duck forest garden greening the desert solar tiny house wofati
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I just found this too, from here.

 
David Livingston
pollinator
Posts: 4339
Location: Anjou ,France
240
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In france we have
Haricots nains filet et mangetout - French bean eat whole  (bush )
Haricot nain à écosser               - French bean eat bean   (bush )
Haricot à rame mangetout         - French bean climbing  eat whole
Haricot à rame à écosser          -  French bean climbing eat bean
Haricot d'Espagne               Butter bean ? Lima bean ?
Fève                                 Broad bean  lima bean ?
 
Philipp Mueller
Posts: 62
Location: NRW/Germany
7
food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

David Livingston wrote:In france we have
Haricot d'Espagne               Butter bean ? Lima bean ?
Fève                                 Broad bean  lima bean ?


Haricot d'Espagne = runner bean = phaseolus coccineus
Fève = broad bean = vicia faba
Haricot de Lima = lima bean, butter bean = phaseolus lunatus
 
Posts: 182
Location: near Athens, GA
17
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
While I could be completely wrong, where I come from butter beans refer to heirloom varieties of lima beans that have been cultivated for their flavor and texture as a dried bean.  Although they may certainly be eaten fresh, they are regarded more as storage beans.... and they are truly excellent!  Whether cooked fresh or dried, the flavor and texture is very different from standard limas.  Limas have a brighter flavor when fresh, that goes very well with butter.  When dried, they are very mild and need to be cooked with onions or another strong accent to be very appealing (at least, to me - I like them boiled with onion, bacon and a bit of cornmeal, and served with hot sauce).  Butter beans are earthier and richer, more like lentils or field peas in flavor - cooked fresh or dried, with pork fat - there are few better foods on earth, to my taste.  My favorite is an  old variety, passed own in my family for 200 years or so... probably much longer, that we simply call "speckled butter beans".  As for growing beans... well, they all seem to grow well in North Carolina, depending on when they are planted.  Of course,  everything from wine grapes, to truffles, to American Ginseng and ramps grow here depending on the elevation.... zone 5 on the mountain tops to zone 8 at the coast, with everything else in between.... hot and humid in the summer, bitter cold in the winter, plenty of precip nearly year 'round.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 10287
Location: Left Coast Canada
1722
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There are all these different levels of language going on here.

Broad Bean is suddenly very fashionable - it refers to the shape and size of the bean.  It's a vernacular/cooking word.  It's very much beans of this size and shape all need this kind of cooking time and technique and give this kind of result/flavour/texture.

Fava/lima/runner/pulse/bean/green bean/ - these are gardening words, they refer to the growth pattern/shape of the plant/time of year/kind of plant/cultivar of plant.

Botanical names are more specific but don't always describe the shape and size of the seed unless we get down to specific cultivar.  They also don't describe how the seed will act in the kitchen.

So, broad bean is a category that includes some fava beans and most lima beans.

Not all favas are broad beans, some are tiny.

I learned this week that not all lima beans are broad.

Some 'runner beans' are broad, some are not.

 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The culinary vs. botanical issue is not a new one. The infamous debate of is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable, and the answer is it depends. Or the berries that are not berries and the nuts that aren't nuts.

Given that I don't currently engage is circles where one cares about fashionality, I'm not up on these terms. My exposure to the word(s) broad bean is limited to British television. It is not a word used where I live.

Favas are a pain to peel, I wouldn't even bother with small ones. Some people use them as a cover crop, but I found the stalks very slow to break down.
 
Philipp Mueller
Posts: 62
Location: NRW/Germany
7
food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did not like fava beans until i tried them roasted. Whole pod on the grill until it is slightly charred, then eat the seeds right out of the pod, skin on. Tastes really good, a bit like chestnut.
 
r ranson
master steward
Posts: 10287
Location: Left Coast Canada
1722
books chicken fiber arts cooking sheep
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They say the fresher the fava beans, especially the smaller ones, the more tender the skin when cooked - Talking about dry fava beans that are harvested less than a year prior to eating.

I haven't found them to be any easier to eat so now I buy crushed (and skinned) dry favas.  They cook up really fast and make a great falafel.  I haven't found a way to crush them myself yet. 

More information about that in the great big fava thread
 
pollinator
Posts: 197
Location: Morongo Valley
60
bee chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi greening the desert cooking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I may have missed it, but I did skim all of the above... A few more things about runner beans:

Runner beans, from the Americas, are also a perennial in their climate.  So if it doesn't freeze hard, they will come back from the roots.  I grew them in Oregon where it was  too cold for that, and I didn't try them in a greenhouse.

Runner beans, the green bean, has an amazing flavor.  To me they are far superior as a green bean taste to typical Phaseouls vulgaris green beans, even the really great varieties of those.  However, runners have slightly hairy pods.  Some people don't like that "mouth feel".

Runner green beans freeze well, but they do not can well.  The skin tends to come off in canning, in my experience.

They are so delightful, full runners grow really tall, they taste great and attract a lot of hummingbirds.  Well worth growing, in my experience.
 
Posts: 11
Location: Nuevo Mexico, Alta California, New York, Andalucia
1
forest garden greening the desert trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We've had great results with fava beans, growing them through mild moist sub-tropical winter in coastal southern California; then shelling, briefly steaming & blending, or directly stewing with everything you'd use to make a hearty chile stew. 

 
gardener
Posts: 2411
97
bike books food preservation forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I eat all kinds of beans regularly. "Broad beans" is a figure of speech from Britain as far as I can tell. Fava beans and lima beans are the terms we would use for that.    I can't figure out what "common beans" are. To the Mexicans, it would probably be pinto. To the East Asians, soy beans. To Middle Eastern people, it would be chick peas/garbanzo beans.  I used to live in the South. They eat so many kinds of beans that none would be called "common beans".   That name is completely unfamiliar. I am an American.  We eat so many kinds of beans here that none is really common.  Green beans are usually called green beans.  Can anyone use a term familiar to Americans for "common beans"?
Thanks,
John S
PDX OR
 
pollinator
Posts: 379
Location: 6a
48
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Wj Carroll wrote:While I could be completely wrong, where I come from butter beans refer to heirloom varieties of lima beans that have been cultivated for their flavor and texture as a dried bean.  Although they may certainly be eaten fresh, they are regarded more as storage beans.... and they are truly excellent!  Whether cooked fresh or dried, the flavor and texture is very different from standard limas.  Limas have a brighter flavor when fresh, that goes very well with butter.  When dried, they are very mild and need to be cooked with onions or another strong accent to be very appealing (at least, to me - I like them boiled with onion, bacon and a bit of cornmeal, and served with hot sauce).  Butter beans are earthier and richer, more like lentils or field peas in flavor - cooked fresh or dried, with pork fat - there are few better foods on earth, to my taste.  My favorite is an  old variety, passed own in my family for 200 years or so... probably much longer, that we simply call "speckled butter beans".  As for growing beans... well, they all seem to grow well in North Carolina, depending on when they are planted.  Of course,  everything from wine grapes, to truffles, to American Ginseng and ramps grow here depending on the elevation.... zone 5 on the mountain tops to zone 8 at the coast, with everything else in between.... hot and humid in the summer, bitter cold in the winter, plenty of precip nearly year 'round.



This is a great thread, so informative..

WJ 

I have great memories of my grandfather baking big fat pork chops with butter beans.  What a fantastic dish!   The butter beans he used were large, almost an inch long. I'd love to plant this type of bean but I haven't had any luck finding seed.

Regards, Scott 
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 182
Location: near Athens, GA
17
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Scott, I'm kind of an heirloom bean fanatic.  If I run across any big butter beans like that, I'll let you know.
 
Scott Foster
pollinator
Posts: 379
Location: 6a
48
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks WJ!  :-)
 
Posts: 7
Location: Sandy, Utah
food preservation forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Scott Foster wrote:

Wj Carroll wrote:While I could be completely wrong, where I come from butter beans refer to heirloom varieties of lima beans that have been cultivated for their flavor and texture as a dried bean.  Although they may certainly be eaten fresh, they are regarded more as storage beans.... and they are truly excellent!  Whether cooked fresh or dried, the flavor and texture is very different from standard limas.  Limas have a brighter flavor when fresh, that goes very well with butter.  When dried, they are very mild and need to be cooked with onions or another strong accent to be very appealing (at least, to me - I like them boiled with onion, bacon and a bit of cornmeal, and served with hot sauce).  Butter beans are earthier and richer, more like lentils or field peas in flavor - cooked fresh or dried, with pork fat - there are few better foods on earth, to my taste.  My favorite is an  old variety, passed own in my family for 200 years or so... probably much longer, that we simply call "speckled butter beans".  As for growing beans... well, they all seem to grow well in North Carolina, depending on when they are planted.  Of course,  everything from wine grapes, to truffles, to American Ginseng and ramps grow here depending on the elevation.... zone 5 on the mountain tops to zone 8 at the coast, with everything else in between.... hot and humid in the summer, bitter cold in the winter, plenty of precip nearly year 'round.



This is a great thread, so informative..

WJ 

I have great memories of my grandfather baking big fat pork chops with butter beans.  What a fantastic dish!   The butter beans he used were large, almost an inch long. I'd love to plant this type of bean but I haven't had any luck finding seed.

Regards, Scott 



Hey Scott,
Rancho Gordo has some giant Royal Coronas.  They recently had them in their latest bean club shipment and I cooked some up.  Absolutely amazing how large they were, bigger than the previous Christmas Limas I'd gotten from them and loved cooking.  Both were some very meaty beans.  You might want to check them out if you can't find them from a nursery.
 
Scott Foster
pollinator
Posts: 379
Location: 6a
48
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Linda,

Thanks for the info!  They are sold out this year :-(
 
Linda Lee
Posts: 7
Location: Sandy, Utah
food preservation forest garden urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Scott Foster wrote:Linda,

Thank for the info!  They are sold out this year :-(



Oh no!  Sorry to hear.  Steve S was complaining about them and said they were trash as they wouldn't cook down for him. So they were going to give us replacement beans.  Actually they will eventually cook down to loveliness.  Just took me a day and a half in the slow cooker  Maybe you can find someone who wants to reject them.  :)
 
Wj Carroll
Posts: 182
Location: near Athens, GA
17
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Next time Rancho Gordo has them in stock, be sure to try the Eye of the Goat beans....   !!!
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thought I'd post a picture of my favas.
fava-beans.jpg
[Thumbnail for fava-beans.jpg]
They are about 7 ft. tall now.
 
gardener
Posts: 1138
Location: Middle Tennessee
170
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Stacy, do you sow your favas in the fall and let them over-winter?
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James, yes I do. Our winters are very mild, this year even more so. These were planted in November. I have another batch that were planted in December, they are much shorter, around 3 ft.
 
James Freyr
gardener
Posts: 1138
Location: Middle Tennessee
170
books cat chicken food preservation homestead cooking purity trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Gosh your favas look great! I'm impressed they've grown so much during the short winter days. Another question for you, do you have a sheller or are you shelling by hand and then also blanching to remove the bean skin by hand?
 
Posts: 72
Location: Near Philadelphia, PA
7
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Amazing - 7 ft tall!  Please post another image when they are in pod.  Wow!
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James - I shell by hand, and then blanch. If I'm using immediately, I then remove the bean skin. If I'm freezing, I freeze with bean skin on, and remove it later. The beans without skin are fragile so I find leaving them on when freezing works better. It also cuts down on how much skin removal I have to do at any one time.

Phil - the pods are just starting, some are an inch or two long. I will post another picture tomorrow.
 
Scott Foster
pollinator
Posts: 379
Location: 6a
48
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Wow Stacy those are beautiful!
 
Philipp Mueller
Posts: 62
Location: NRW/Germany
7
food preservation forest garden cooking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Stacy Witscher wrote:James - I shell by hand, and then blanch. If I'm using immediately, I then remove the bean skin. If I'm freezing, I freeze with bean skin on, and remove it later. The beans without skin are fragile so I find leaving them on when freezing works better. It also cuts down on how much skin removal I have to do at any one time.



Another upside to freezing them skin on: For me the by far easiest way to skin them ist to dump them in hot water right out of the freezer and then just pinch one end while they're still frozen. They pop out of the skin really easy.
 
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Love this topic! The fava bean photos look like the stalks are sturdy rather than viney. Is this right? I grow black beans and some sort of white bean (I forgot the seed name and just keep saving the seeds and replanting).
 
Stacy Witscher
Posts: 244
Location: SF Bay Area
19
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Lee - yes, the stalks are sturdy, not vining, and hollow, kind of like borage stems. But they will fall over, so I have mine growing in tomato cages, and then, I wrap with twine as they grow to keep the outside ones from breaking.

Philipp - I have never tried removing the skin that way, sounds great.

IMG_0122.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_0122.JPG]
The pods are just starting here.
 

if you like this sorta things, subscribe to our free daily-ish email newsletter

  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!