fava beans means: Broad beans. Broad beans are a Mediterranean type of lima bean. Fava beans come in large pods that are inedible unless they are very young. You can buy fava beans dried or in canned form. However, you can also get them fresh. Fresh fava beans should not be found in pods bulging with beans. This indicates that they are old. Fava beans are known for their tough skin. Before you cook, blanch them. Fava beans are very common in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. You can cook them in many different ways, and they are frequently used in soups. They are also known as faba beans, broad bean, and horse beans. (in Cooking Dictionary)