Fava beans are one of the oldest plants under cultivation, having been eaten in ancient Greece and Rome. Unlike other beans, they prefer cool weather, allowing them to be planted — and harvested — much earlier. Also known as broad beans, they are popular in Mediterranean cuisine, with many summer dishes celebrating the seasonal bean. They are also dried for winter use. Fava beans have a distinct flavor and creamy texture that make them a great addition to a wide variety of dishes.