Garbanzos | Mexico | Living in Mexico


As a kid, I hated garbanzo beans. I think I encountered them only in that vile excrescence known as three-bean salad.


Making three-bean salad.

Here, a denizen of a non-coastal state demonstrates how to create a "salad" entirely out of canned goods.

In the psychedelic 70s I came to terms with garbanzos in the form of hummus...


Hummus with pita.

... the dip made of mashed garbanzos, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, lemon, tahini (ground sesame seeds), and a little cayenne. Yummy.

I was introduced to hummus in an Armenian restaurant in Alviso; one that employed an aggressive, overweight belly dancer. We liked to bring asian visitors there to embarrass them. "No, Mr. Kim. You put the dollar bill in her girdle."

These days a few thousand cigars and countless cigarettes have permanently stunted my taste buds. I find almost any food palatable. I've even come to like a few garbanzos sprinkled on my green salad.

The garbanzos we eat in El Norte are reconstituted dried beans.


Dried garbanzos.

They require soaking and long cooking to become edible.

In Mexico, we do it other.

In Mexico, we eat garbanzos verdes—green garbanzos. The difference between these and their dried cousins is exactly the same as between green and dried peas. The difference in taste and texture is very similar.


Garbanzo verde vendor.

They're eaten mostly as a walk-around snack. For a a buck (10 pesos) you get a plastic sack with steamed green garbanzos. They're served in their pods.

You can think of them as a kind of Mexican edamame.


A serving of garbanzos verdes.

Usually, you get them salted and doused with lime juice and chili powder. You eat them out of hand, spitting the empty pods out onto the street. Hey, we're still a third-world country.

Low calorie, full of vitamins, and quite tasty. Look for 'em in your local barrio.