Tuti area is traditionally renowned for the production of fava beans, thanks to the soil that is fertilized by the “guano of the high lands”, or the droppings that come from the breeding of llamas, alpacas, and sheep in the area.
The Tuti Green Anta is mainly grown for personal consumption. It has a sweet, intense flavor and a mealy consistency. The bean is not very easy to peel because the skin tends to attach to the seeds, but cooking them is very rapid and the beans can be conserved for much longer than other varieties.
Seeding takes place in September and October, and the beans are harvested in February, March, and April. The beans are conserved directly in their pods, so as to help maintain their flavor, consistency, and color. They can be conserved for up to three or four years.
There are several traditional dishes made with these beans. They can be boiled in salt water and eaten with cheese or mote (boiled corn) or toasted in a special terracotta dish called a k’analla, which is used over a wood burning stove. The dish is removed continuously so that the beans don’t burn, and when done the beans are peeled and eaten immediately, either on their own or with cheese. Another typical dish is the revuelto di habas, a dish in which the beans are cooked with onions, ajì, potatoes, milk, and cheese. There are of course many soups and broths whose main ingredient is Tuti fava bean flour.
They are often given as a sign of gratitude by the farmers to those who control the water, or to the person who manages the water used to irrigate the land. The farmers hold that the unique flavor of Tuli fava beans comes from the water that arrives directly from the glacier on Mt. Mismi.
The reasons that these beans risk disappearing are tied to the market, as the Tuti fava beans have to contend with common fava beans that are often passed off as original Tuti fava beans. Climate change is another risk factor, while since 2012 a disease called chocolatada which kills fava plants and turns them as black as chocolate, has been destroying the crops.