The first time I tried cooking with garbanzo bean flour I thought that the flour must have gone bad. I threw the whole new bag away, brushed my teeth, and worried I might get food poisoning. The strong, make-you-want-to-vomit flavor was on par with ancient sour milk.
I love garbanzo beans though; I’ll even eat them right out of the can for snacks. But I hate garbanzo bean flour. And my family wasn’t exactly keen on it either. I didn’t understand why a lot of gluten-free cooks/bakers swear by the stuff.
Yesterday I was reading reviews of a gluten-free cookbook that had gotten some very polarized ratings—either five stars or one. And it seemed to be based entirely on the flour. The five-star reviews praised the recipes for being delicious while the one-star reviews had extremely strong reactions saying that the food tasted so badly that they wanted to throw up and burn the flour.
If you’re new to being gluten-free, I recommend buying a small bag of Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. It contains garbanzo flour but not as much as pure garbanzo bean flour, so hopefully it won’t be as shocking if you don’t like it. If you like the flour, it opens up more options for your gluten-free baking. But if you’re like me, well, then I think it’s better you stick with rice flour.
Even if you don’t taste anything funky, though, keep in mind that sometimes other people really can’t stand something that has even a little garbanzo flour added, so it might be best to use a different flour when feeding guests. I can just imagine little kids threatening to barf because they had a garbanzo birthday cake.