Is life to short to skin a broad bean?

Is life to short to skin a broad bean? Opinion is divided but the general consensus among the cognoscenti would seem to be that yes you should skin them, and the older the bean, the more pressing the need to skin. Broad bean skins can be tough and bitter tasting, but never one to bow to pressure, I have tended to just steam them and serve them as they are, allowing any dissent from the ranks to roll off my back. I ADORE broad beans, and can be quite intolerant of those (i.e. my children) who dare to express anything other than enjoyment when faced with them on the plate...

When we were on our camping trip the other weekend, though, my friend brought some of her veg box broads with her, for what was a delicious chorizo & couscous dish, and insisted that the beans were skinned. A revelation, mainly because Pink who has hitherto rejected broad beans pronounced them "Quite good, really". They are much more subtle as a flavour with the skins off, and yes, much less bitter, although any broad beans knocking around at the moment are going to be pretty young, and not really bitter at all.

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