Garbanzo beans are among the earliest cultivated vegetables. They were consumed in 3500 BC in Turkey and throughout the Bronze age in Greece and Italy. beans are eaten in a myriad of dishes and a staple of many Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. In vegetarian cultures, they serve as a major source of protein. beans can be eaten cold in salads, cooked in stews, and ground into flour (besan). Prominent dishes include Indian falafel and hummus, Burmese tofu, Mediterranean flatbread socca, and Filipino sweets ca