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Toasted Fresh Chickpeas...soooo addicting!

So.  The other day I was in my favorite Mexican market...perusing the produce...when I noticed something small and green from the corner of my eye.  I scooted over a bit, leaned in a little closer, and almost let out a whoop! right where I stood.  FRESH chickpeas (garbanzo beans).  This was the first time I'd ever seen fresh ones.  And they were green!  Of course I had to pop open a pod to catch a sneak was like opening somebody's blouse in public and getting a glimpse of what was to come.  You know, later.  After you got somewhere private.  I could hardly wait to expose it completely!  Totally voyeuristic. 

Well, I filled up a bag in no time flat and hurried to the register, hoping that my excitement wasn't evident.  Although, why I should feel ashamed to want to be alone with my fresh chickpeas is beyond me...I just felt the need to be on the down-low.

My palms were all sweaty as I casually strolled through the side door of the house...the one that leads right into the room that sure to contain moans of ecstasy soon.  Fortunately, the much more experienced Mexi was already there...he could read my mood like an open book.  He sensed that something new and fresh was in store.  When I opened the back to give him a tease, he remembered the days back in Mexico when he was so good at peeling off those little green blouses...the days before we were married...the days when living in another time...another place...those little green blouses were waiting around every corner.

He assured me that I would love what was inside.  It would bring me pleasure like I'd never known before.
Are you primed and ready for the full experience?  Oh yeah...sit back and enjoy.  First, we heated the cast-iron comal until it was very, very hot.  While it was heating up, we massaged a tiny bit of olive oil throughout all of the garbanzos...which we gave a gentle shower just before and let dry off a bit.  Then we tossed in a bit of sea salt.  When the comal was so hot that it might burst into flames at any moment, we spread the prepared chickpeas across the hot surface.  We stirred them around occasionally...until they became nice and toasty and golden on both sides.
 We then removed them to a bowl and tossed them with a bit more sea salt...the bigger the crystal...the  better.

The fresh little chickpea inside the gorgeous, green pod was warm and silky...the best thing ever was to grab the whole pod between your teeth and just pull the waiting chickpea into your mouth.  It was a whole flavor experience...the roasty, salty pod giving way to the tender legume waiting inside.  I was not very good at containing myself. 
Once I had a little taste...I couldn't stop until the bowl was just a bunch of empty pods.  I did take a second to pop a few out for your viewing pleasure...but I couldn't stop for long.
Mexi said this was a regular snack back in the day...only they were very abundant, so there would be a whole gaggle of the fresh chickpeas spread out across a huge clay or terra cotta slab and they would be toasting and ready for anybody who needs some satisfaction...while drinking, talking, watching name it.  While I did feel a little pang of jealousy inside at him having experienced this many times was overruled by the pleasure the whole experience had left me feeling...knowing that now I coulde experience it anytime I bumped into those fresh, green chickpeas again.  And I will bump into them again. 

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