Fresh and Green Beans from the Farms of Cusco
The season of green fava beans has arrived throughout the region of Cusco. The plants are flowering in their fields. Our farmers who grow these very nutritional plants talk about taking them from the field, chacra, to the pot. In the next few months we will enjoy them in many different traditional preparations.
The farmers have anxiously awaited the rainy season which is more or less between December and March. Every year it is a little different. This year the rains were delayed and that caused a lot of worry in the farmers. People who could depended on other systems of irrigation to help their plantings of potatoes, broad beans, and corn, among others.
Two dishes of the season are the kapchi de habas, and the solterito cusqueño. Both require green fava beans. Right now broad beans are raised in Chinchero where the new international airport will be built. Along with the broad beans people raise potatoes and other products. Last week my friends invited me to an outing there. Its beautiful panorama with immense, growing fields surrounded by jagged snow-clad peaks as well as lower mountains and hills.
You could see how the women of the countryside were harvesting the fava beans with great ability in order to prepare right there a solterito of fresh favas. I saw four women, who were speaking of making up a lunch, enter the fields and in just a few minutes came out with several kilos of favas, also called broad beans. They carried them in the folds of their skirts.
Right afterwards the peeled them all together, along with the men and the children. They quickly made up a delicious solterito and accompanied it with a baked guinea pig and boiled potatoes. When they invited me to try it, wow! It was a pleasure. The favas were fresh and soft.
These days our markets offer green fava beans for sale, the same as in local stores and supermarkets. They are inexpensive and can accommodate almost every budget. We should take advantage of the season and use these delights to make up a dish that will delight us and is seasonal. It is farm to pot time.
Here is a recipe for Capchi of local mushrooms. For capchi de habas add peeled fava beans either with or without the mushrooms.