[Sca-cooks] Fava bean recipes

Christiane christianetrue at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 10 08:53:41 PDT 2007

The recipe from the Andalusian cookbook, the translation of which is being debated, got me thinking about this.

There's makke from the Form of Curye. There's maccu from Sicily. Both of these are meatless, but the Sicilian version calls for olive oil and fennel, not wine and fried onions. There's the Spanish Andalusian version, which has meat, but is flavored with fennel, onions, and garlic. In Liguria, pureed favas are made into a paste with pecorino cheese and spread on bread. Sort of an Italian hummus. Platina has fava cakes (incidentally, according to my dad, my great-grandmother liked to take cold maccu, slice it up, and fry it). But essentially all these recipes are a puree of favas. A look at the Florilegium shows many more pureed fava recipes from period throughout Europe and the Middle East.

I have never seen anything with favas at an East Kingdom feast, which seems a shame considering all of the period recipes featuring favas. Admittedly I have not been to that many feasts, but I've been to a few major and minor events over the years. Is it because favas are harder to get than other beans, and there is a general unawareness of them? Is it fear of favism? 

I think I can understand why favas fell into disfavor among the descendants of the Italian immigrants. Fava beans being the food of the very poor, probably there were many who were happy to be able to choose NOT to eat them, ever again. It was a status thing. So familiarity with the fava faded away among these families. It did from mine. 

So does anyone have any theories about why feasts that could feature favas, do not?


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