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Jan 2, 2014 04:59 PM

What do you call 'em? Garbanzos? Cecci? Chickpeas?

…and wouldn't it be wonderful if the name got standardized?

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  1. no

    But feel free to make the case for one of those names.

    Ceci - Italian
    Chickpea - a well established English name, derived from French (and Latin, note the similiarity to cecci)
    Garbanzo - from Spanish

    But why limit the choices to those languages? How about Hindi derived names? Basque, Portuguese?

    6 Replies
    1. re: paulj

      Cause I LOVE them and when I want to find a new recipe I have to make 3 different searches and put in 3 different keywords when coding them.

      I also wonder if there are people who don't know all the names and miss things or talk past one another.

      But you could be wrong that this is a non-issue. ;>

      PS I don't know any Hindi derived names but am a fan of chana masala. Do you think chana translates to garbanzo/cecci/chickpea too?

      1. re: rainey

        PS I don't know any Hindi derived names but am a fan of chana masala. Do you think chana translates to garbanzo/cecci/chickpea too?



        1. re: thegforceny

          I had Chana dal for dinner. Delicious.

          1. re: magiesmom

            Yes, they're wonderful by any name and now I've got 2 more names/searches to do. =o

          2. re: rainey

            Isn't this true for a lot of ingredients? These days search engines are quite savvy and even if you don't put in the exact word "garbanzo" often a search for "chickpeas" will include links to site with synonyms.

          1. re: NanaMoussecurry

            Sounds as though that would translate as chick peas. But then it also has a similarity to cecci.

            1. re: rainey

              but cecci and garbanzo translate as chick peas, too...

              Cecci is Italian, Garbanzo is Spanish, and Pois Chiches is French.

              They all translate to the same English term.

              1. re: sunshine842

                Right. But "pois chiches" sounds like a literal translation (if I can make that assumption without pulling out my Larouse). I don't hear anything that strikes my very very limited and poor Spanish as "pea" or "chick" in garbanzo.

                But I take your point that this versatile bean has many names. And this morning I learned the Japanese name to go with the Hindi (?) name I learned yesterday.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Cecci, Chiches, Chick all come from the same Latin root (cicer, Cicero's surname). 'pois' would be 'peas'. The origin of the common Spanish word, garbanzo, is unclear. Some try to trace it to Greek, others to Basque.

                  1. re: paulj

                    ceci in Italian, not cecci! Cicero IS the surname, i.e., cognomen, of Marcus Tullius Cicero. Supposedly an ancestor had a chickpea-shaped wart on his nose.

            2. All the above. When I put them in a salad I call them Garbanzos.If used in a soup they would be Cecci.When making hummus they are Chickpeas.I don't know if it is correct.Thats what I call them when I use them

              2 Replies
              1. re: emglow101

                I also vary my use of the terms - salad = Garbanzos, hummus = Chickpeas. I have no idea why.

                1. re: emglow101

                  A while back someone was complaining that people were making hummus from things other than chickpeas. Turns out that 'hummus' (or something like that) is the Arabic word for chickpeas, and that full name for the spread is something that means 'chickpeas with tahini'.


                2. It depends on what recipe I'm making -- if I'm making something Cuban or Spanish, they're garbanzos -- if it's an American recipe, they're chickpeas -- and you're going to hate me for adding another term, but if it's a North African or French recipe, they're pois chiches.

                  I reach for the same bag or can, but in my mind, they're whatever nationality I'm cooking.

                  1. All of the above, depending on whom I am speaking with.