Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas: The Truth Revealed Here!


We’ve heard this question over and over again: what’s the difference between garbanzo beans vs chickpeas? Since they sound so different, we’re bound to find stark differences, right?

Wrong! While chickpeas may sound more familiar to you, both chickpeas and garbanzo beans are the same beans from the same plant category. Again, there are no differences folks, they just have different names.

But don’t exit this tab just yet, because even if these two beans have no apparent differences, it’s still worth learning about them!

Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas

Garbanzo beans, aka chickpeas, are a popular food ingredient in the Middle East for centuries. These grow from a plant 8-20 inches tall with hairy leaves and white flowers. Chickpeas also have thin skins you can eat, with 2-3 chickpeas per seedpod. However, you mustn’t consume fresh raw chickpeas, as it’s hard to digest because of the toxins it contains. (*)

Chickpea’s history dates back as far as 7,500 years ago, known as one of the earliest cultivated legumes in history. Chickpeas’ first form comes from the wild Cicer reticulatum, which we can only find in southeast Turkey now.

Today, chickpeas are one of the most popular and versatile food ingredients globally, whether as a healthy rice substitute or source of protein. But back then, Germany once used chickpeas as a coffee substitute!

Alright, so you know what chickpeas are, now let’s talk about the garbanzo beans vs chickpeas “debate.”

The only difference between garbanzo beans vs chickpeas is… drumroll, please… The name!

We say chickpeas as the English term, while garbanzo beans as the Spanish term. If you see people calling chickpeas garbanzo beans or vice versa, don’t laugh because it’s perfectly normal to use the two terms interchangeably. For the sake of this article, we’ll use the term chickpeas to avoid any confusion.

Fun fact: Chickpea comes from the Latin name, “cicer arietinum,” meaning “poise chiche” in French, then “chiche pease,” hence the term “chickpea” in English. Garbanzo comes from the Old Spanish word “arvanco,” meaning pea plant, or the Basque word “garbantzu”, meaning dry seed. Chickpeas also have other names like cecis, Bengal grams, or Egyptian peas!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you would like to learn more about chickpeas, we’ve got the section made for you, so continue reading!

1. Are there different kinds of chickpeas?

Yes, there are Kabuli and Desi.

Kabuli chickpeas are large and color beige with thin, smooth skin. Desi chickpeas are smaller with darker, rougher skin, being yellow on the inside. You can find a lot of chickpeas in various colors ranging from red, black, brown, or green.

2. What are the health benefits of chickpeas?

Chickpeas are notoriously known for the amazing health benefits it offers. It’s high in protein and fiber and even helps with weight management and blood sugar control. A 2004 study suggested that chickpeas can help reduce clusters forming in the colon, an early sign of colon cancer development! (*)

Moreover, chickpeas have a ton of vitamins like vitamin B6, iron, calcium, and zinc. It’s worth having a serving of chickpeas daily for your health, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian.

3. Where do you use chickpeas?

We can use chickpeas in so many different recipes and dishes, it’s one of the reasons why it continues to stay popular worldwide. Here are a few ideas on where to use chickpeas:

  • Chickpea pancakes
  • Salads
  • Hummus
  • Curries
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Soups and stews
  • Pizza crust
  • Crab cakes
  • And many more!
Pro-tip: You can easily find dried or canned chickpeas in your local supermarket. Simply add canned chickpeas to your recipe for added flavor and texture. When using dried chickpeas, you'll need to soak them for at least four hours before cooking.

Wrapping It Up

Who knew that two very different words can actually mean the same thing? Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are both one and the same legume that you can use in almost any savory recipe. It’s healthy, delicious, and versatile – what more can you ask for in food?

Did you find our garbanzo vs chickpeas article informative? Then you’ll learn a lot from our other posts here at Nomspedia

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