They were first found in the Middle East and from there they moved to Ancient Rome, where they became a part of a Gladiators daily diet due to being packed full of protein. Here they were known as arietinum which translates to “Ram’s Head” due to their shape. In Ancient Greece, they were know as erébinthos and they were a staple of their diet.
They were held in such high esteem that, along with many other legumes, prominent families were named after them such as the Roman writer, Cicero.
They are densely packed with nutrients such as protein and fibre which made them perfect as a part of the diet of the Gladiators in the Colosseums. Also, just 2 cups of them will give you your RDA of fibre and they are full of iron, zinc and many more vitamins.
Today, the chickpea is used in cuisines around the world. They are eaten cold with pasta in Italy, cooked in curries in India and blended with olive oil to make hummus. Their green tops can be eaten like spinach while the leaves make a useful hay when dried.
With studies continuously adding to the list of benefits that this little “ram’s head” has in the world of health it’s not too far a stretch to say that it truly is a versatile little seed.
They are also quite popular at GLORIOUS! HQ, so we included them in a few of our pots: