Broad bean is a herbaceous plant with an erect stem, which can reach up to one meter in height. The fruit is a large pod of about 30 cm in length, rather flat and containing large green seeds of ovoid shape. It is a typically spring and summer vegetable, but it is also available dry and frozen. Its flavour is quite characteristic but less intense than that of beans.
To consume it, it must first be extracted from the pod and, in certain preparations, also deprived of the thin hard film that covers each seed. If very fresh and tender, the broad bean can also be eaten raw. When fresh the bean appears with a shiny pod, bright green and crunchy when broken.
The dried broad beans with the peel must soak in water for at least one day; those already peeled, on the other hand, must be kept in water for about nine to ten hours.