Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas: Unraveling the Twin Legumes


Have you ever wondered about the difference between garbanzo beans and chickpeas? Despite their distinct names, these legumes are not as different as you might think. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating similarities and history of these twin beans while unearthing some intriguing facts along the way.

Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas: The Same but Different

Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, have been a staple in Middle Eastern cooking for ages. They grow on plants that are about 8-20 inches tall, with white flowers and hairy leaves. Each seedpod contains 2-3 chickpeas, but here’s a little heads-up – eating fresh raw chickpeas can be tough on your stomach because of the toxins they contain (*).

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!

Fun fact: Did you know that chickpeas were once used as a coffee substitute in Germany? Times have changed, and now they have become a popular ingredient worldwide, loved for their health benefits and versatility in the kitchen.

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

The Great Debate: Garbanzo Beans vs Chickpeas

Get ready for a drumroll moment… The only difference between garbanzo beans and chickpeas is their names! In English, we call them chickpeas, while in Spanish, they go by garbanzo beans. And guess what? It’s totally normal to see these terms used interchangeably.

For the sake of this article, we’ll use the term chickpeas to avoid any confusion.

Here’s a little language history for you – the English word “chickpea” comes from the Latin name “cicer arietinum,” which somehow turned into “chiche pease” in French, and finally “chickpea” in English. On the other hand, “garbanzo” comes from the Old Spanish word “arvanco,” meaning “pea plant,” or the Basque word “garbantzu,” which means “dry seed.” Chickpeas also go by other names like cecis, Bengal grams, and Egyptian peas!

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, let’s dig into some questions you might have about these amazing legumes:

1. Are there different kinds of chickpeas?

Absolutely! There are two main types of chickpeas: Kabuli and Desi.

  • Kabuli chickpeas are large, beige, and have smooth skin.
  • Desi chickpeas are smaller, have darker and rougher skin, and look yellow on the inside. And guess what? Chickpeas can also come in a bunch of colors, like red, black, brown, and green!

2. What are the health benefits of chickpeas?

Chickpeas are known for being super healthy. They’re packed with protein and fiber, which help you manage your weight and control blood sugar. Plus, there’s some cool science suggesting that chickpeas might reduce the risk of colon cancer (*).

Not only that, but chickpeas also have lots of important vitamins like B6, iron, calcium, and zinc. So, whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or just a food lover, eating chickpeas can do wonders for your health.

3. Where do you use chickpeas?

Let’s get creative in the kitchen! Chickpeas can be used in all kinds of yummy recipes, such as:

  • Chickpea pancakes
  • Salads
  • Hummus
  • Curries
  • Roasted chickpeas
  • Soups and stews
  • Pizza crust
  • Crab cakes
  • And many more!

Pro-tip: You can find canned or dried chickpeas at your local supermarket. Canned ones are ready to use and add a burst of flavor and texture to your dishes. If you go for dried chickpeas, just remember to soak them for at least four hours before cooking.

Wrapping It Up

Who would’ve thought that two beans with such fancy names could actually be so similar? Garbanzo beans and chickpeas are basically the same legume, loved for their taste, versatility, and health benefits. So the next time you see a recipe calling for garbanzo beans or chickpeas, don’t fret – you can use either one and explore a world of delicious possibilities.

We hope you had a blast reading this article. For more fun and fascinating reads, be sure to check out our other posts at Nomspedia

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