The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas (Thai Coconut Lemongrass)

 

There are two types of grocery shoppers. 

The first type of shopper attacks the grocery shopping with the tenacity of a swat team. They have beforehand taken stock of the missing holes in the pantry, strategized exactly what they want to buy, and probably categorized the items by aisle into a list. Once meticulously prepared, they burst into the doors and rush up and down the aisles knowing exactly what brands and prices to look for.  You probably will notice these people by the clipped way they walk and the frequent squeaky RPM's of their grocery carts. 

Conversely, the second type views the grocery experience not as an obstacle or something to be checked off, but as an enjoyable experience not to be rushed. This shopper meanders down aisles and stops to ponder the varieties of brands, prices, and new products. When you notice these shoppers, you will see that they could easily be transplanted into a meadow in the springtime, and their behavior would not change at all. Prior to the store, they often come with an idea of what they want, but do not constrain themselves to one product or brand. 

Both shoppers have their strong suits and pitfalls. The first makes the experience stressful and rushed, but this makes more time for other activities during the day. The second drags the shopping experience to boredom, but they often get the best deals and are willing to try new products.

While these types of shoppers are polar opposite, it is possible for them to coexist outside of the produce aisle. In fact, my parents fall into these two different categories and so do Cameron and I. Maybe this is where the expression "opposites attract" comes from. We need each other for balance. For example, I went to the Fresh Market to buy a few things last Saturday. I went in, with exactly the items in mind, and got out. 15 minutes! I happened to go to the SAME store with my dad later that day, we only had three items to get, but we walked out with 7 and took at least 35 minutes.

However, the first trip, I passed by The Good Bean Crispy Chickpeas, thinking, "Maybe another time. They are not on my list." But, when I went back with my dad, I mentioned them and, not being shackled to any list, he insisted we get them.

The Good Bean's Crispy Chickpeas are non-gmo, nut free, soy free,  and gluten free, which makes them pretty great for people with food sensitivities. I decided to try the Thai Coconut Lemongrass flavor of their Crispy Chickpeas. They do have many other flavors, which you can see in the picture below. For this particular type, here are the ingredients:

INGREDIENTS: Roasted chickpeas, expeller-pressed safflower or sunflower oil, evaporated cane juice, coarse salt, citric acid, spices, onion, lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime, Thai chili, toasted coconut, natural flavors, natural Vitamin E.
 

There are six servings per bag, and each serving contains 120 calories, 4 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Each bag costs around 4.50 dollars, which is reasonable if you eat them across six servings. That equates to 75 cents per serving.

I only tried these as a snack, but The Good Bean says you can use these as a salad or soup topper  or in trail mix. I could see these as being pretty good options.

In regards to taste, I was very underwhelmed. Don't get me wrong, the spice/seasoning I really like, but the overall experience leaves something to be desired. The chickpea, which is supposed to be crispy, is less like a chip and more like a compacted saltine. I know these are not supposed to be moist, but the chickpea itself is way too dry. The chewed chickpea sticks around in your mouth, if you have ever eaten a few Saltines at time, you will know what I mean here. 

The seasoning's taste goes away very quickly, and the taste of the chickpea is not ideal. There is just not much there. I think this problem could be solved in one of two ways, somehow not cooking all the moisture out, OR chop them up to make thinner sections. This way the dry clump of chickpea would be more like a potato chip or cracker. This would also give the eater a higher seasoning to chickpea ratio.

Now, before you call me a chickpea hater, I love chickpeas, and have even made some awesome roasted salt and vinegar chickpeas, so I know what good ones taste like. Granted, I have only tried one of this company's flavors, but I imagine the chickpea cooking process to be about the same.

I had high hopes for these, because chickpeas make wonderful snacks! However, with a few tweaks, The Good Bean could go from being a Good Bean to a Great Bean.

So, the next time you are either powering or meandering through the snack food aisle, explore the roasted chickpea realm and help me find the one that will outshines the rest.