Chickpeas vs. Garbanzo Beans: What’s the Difference?

Chickpeas vs. Garbanzo Beans: What’s the Difference?

Among the various legumes, chickpeas stand out as one of the more favoured types. In the United Kingdom, you might spot both “chickpeas” and “garbanzo beans” adorning the shelves of your local grocery store.

But, are chickpeas and garbanzo beans two distinct entities? This piece will elucidate any disparities between chickpeas and garbanzo beans and explore the delightful ways these legumes can be incorporated into your culinary adventures.

what’s the verdict on the chickpea vs. garbanzo bean debate?

In essence, no, there isn’t a discernible difference between chickpeas and garbanzo beans.

However, delving into the classifications of chickpeas sheds light on why the term “garbanzo bean” may sometimes be used.

Categorising Chickpeas Chickpeas fall under the legume umbrella, a botanical family that also includes peanuts, soybeans, lentils, and peas. Legumes boast edible seeds that develop within pods.

Within the legume realm, there are two main categories: oilseed and non-oilseed legumes. The latter encompasses a subgroup known as “pulses,” and chickpeas are nestled within this subgroup.

Varieties of Chickpeas Chickpeas, classified as pulses, can be further divided into two primary types: desi and kabuli.

Desi chickpeas are smaller seeds cloaked in a sturdy outer layer, necessitating removal before consumption. These variants exhibit a spectrum of hues, including brown, black, green, and yellow.

On the other hand, kabuli chickpeas are larger, adorned with a thin outer coating, and boast a paler complexion.

Whilst desi and kabuli chickpeas dominate store shelves, several wild chickpea kin are currently under scrutiny for their potential contributions to crop diversity.

When perusing the aisles of your local supermarket, you’re most likely to encounter either desi or kabuli chickpea varieties.

When do chickpeas go by the name garbanzo beans?

In the UK, kabuli chickpeas are frequently labelled as garbanzo beans. However, this nomenclatural discrepancy does not denote any functional variance within the plant.

All garbanzo beans fall under the chickpea umbrella. Nonetheless, those labelled as “garbanzo beans” are typically of the kabuli chickpea ilk.

Culinary Applications of Chickpeas

Chickpeas boast a remarkable versatility, lending themselves to a myriad of culinary creations. Their culinary adaptability and nutrient profile — notably their protein and fibre content — render them a stellar option for incorporating plant-based protein into your recipes.

Cooking with Chickpeas at Home

For the home chef, chickpeas are a pantry essential, available in both dried and canned formats. These legumes can be boiled or roasted and even ground into flour for various recipes.

Canned chickpeas are offered in both regular and low-sodium iterations, requiring minimal preparation prior to use.

Unlike their canned counterparts, dried chickpeas necessitate additional foresight and preparation. You’ll need to soak them in water, drain, and then cook until tender.

The Verdict

Whether you refer to them as chickpeas or garbanzo beans, these adaptable legumes are a convenient pantry staple, offering a plant-based protein source and enriching your recipes with fibre and other essential nutrients.

If you’re willing to invest the extra time required for cooking, dried chickpeas may be your preferred choice. Otherwise, canned chickpeas provide a swift and hassle-free means of infusing your dishes with protein and fibre.

Charlotte Cremers
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MS, University of Tartu
Sleep specialist

Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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