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Dried Garbanzo beans (chickpeas

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I am making hummus and using dried garbonzo beans according to the recipe in Cooks Ilustrated.
Are there really any flavor/texture differences among brands of Garbanzo beans?
Any specific brands I should try to get?
Thanks

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  1. Can't speak to brands, but you do want to buy them at a market that has a good turnover. Freshness does matter. Around here, the Indian markets seem to have the freshest on their shelves.

    1 Reply
    1. re: smtucker

      I disagree. I've found no difference between brands, and no difference between bagged and bulk beans, no matter how old they might be. Beans that have been sitting in the pantry for a year make hummus that tastes as good as what's made with beans bought the same day. Here in SF the garbanzos in most Indian stores are smaller than those in the supermarkets or Mexican markets. If the beans at the Indian grocery seem fresher it might be because they are a different variety (or the growing conditions are different). So they may or may not be fresher, but might taste better to some.

      I expect Cooks Illustrated warned against using canned beans, which is great, but until they do a side by side comparison of various dried garbanzos, I would not worry about finding the perfect dried bean.

    2. whatever you do, be sure and soak them overnight (better for chick peas than the quick soak, in my experience), and cook them until the beans easily squish against the side of the pot when pressed with a fork. and don't forget to add salt!

      1 Reply
      1. re: alkapal

        I agree.
        I have found that there is a difference in the texture of a quick hot soak then cooking and
        soaking the chickpeas over night before cooking.
        The over night soak makes for a softer smoother texture.
        There is some debate as to which method results in the most nutritional legume, speaking
        of legumes in general but that's another can of garbanzo beans.