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  • Confessions of a Glitter Addict

    Fava Beans for St. Joseph's Day The fava bean plays a role on the feast of St. Joseph and the tradition of the Altar or Table for March 19. Here is a short explanation. Directions Fava bean (vicia fava) —Fava beans play a large role in the Sicilian tradition of the St. Joseph Table or St. Joseph Altar. They may be served in a frittata or in garlic sauce. When dried, roasted and blessed, it becomes the very popular "lucky bean." Legend has it that you will never be broke as long as you carry one. Some people believe that if you keep one in the pantry, there will always be food in the kitchen. The myth of the fava bean began during the famine in Sicily, where the bean was used as fodder for cattle. To survive, the farmers prepared them for the table. Hence, they considered themselves lucky to have them. The bean is also a symbol of fertility since it grows well even in poor, rocky soil. Italians would carry a bean from a good crop to ensure a good crop the following year. The blessed dried beans are distributed on the altars along with a piece of blessed bread. Activity Source: Viva San Giuseppe by St. Joseph Guild, St. Joseph Guild, 1200 Mirabeau Ave, New Orleans, Louisiana 70122

  • Regina Grimaldi

    Fava Beans... My pa mixes these with vinegar, olive oil and fresh herbs and we nibble while we drink

  • Rose Bourg

    Always keep a blessed FAVA Bean in your wallet...Always!

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March 19th: St Joseph's Day. Celebrated with a feast, when you visit a St. Joseph's table, you often receive gifts of fava beans and breads. Fava beans play an integral part of the celebration because this was the food that saved the Sicilians from starvation. The bean is said to bring good luck, and it is believed that if the St. Joseph's bread is kept in the home, the family will never starve.

St Joseph's Day Altar This celebration, on March 19, was held every year in my grandmother's home. Food was everywhere. One year we had over 900 people come to her home to eat. We cooked all year long. It was really something to see. Sorry these times are gone.

This photo depicts an altar decorated for St. Joseph's day. An Italian custom transplanted to New Orleans, women of the parish spend weeks preparing an array of special foods. People pay to come and eat the bounty, and the money is given to the poor. St. Joseph is the patron saint of Sicily.

St. Joseph's Day table (or alter) ... Interesting how all cultures have a way of celebrating the abundance of the harvest or similar!