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Leblebi (Turkish: leblebi) is a kind of snack made from roasted chickpeas, very common and popular in Turkey. It is sometimes roasted with salt, hot spices or dried cloves. There is also a candy coated variety. Particularly, leblebi of Çorum and Elmalı are famous.
Chickpeas that are used for leblebi processing must conform to some important quality criteria such as shape, size, color, and harvesting time. The shape, size, and color of chickpeas vary according to cultivars. Generally, large-seeded (8 –9 mm in diameter and 30.0 –50.0 g of 100 kernel weight), lighter-colored, round, and smooth- surface kabuli chickpeas are preferred and appropriate for leblebi processing. Also, the chickpea must have a thick seed coat and the hull must be easy to remove from kernels during leblebi processing. Furthermore, harvesting time affects the tempering process of chickpeas and quality of the final product. Eventually, cleaning and classification of chickpeas due to their size are important stages of leblebi processing. Foreign materials as well as undeveloped, damaged, shrunken, and broken chickpea seeds have to be removed during these processes to enhance quality and yield.
There are two different kinds of leblebi: dehulled leblebi (Sarı Leblebi and Girit Leblebi) and nondehulled leblebi (Beyaz Leblebi and Sakız Leblebi) in different parts of Anatolia. It was known in Anatolia for centuries, and from there it was introduced to North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and some Asian countries by Turkish people. In Turkey, a significant amount of leblebi is produced and exported. Also, some Middle Eastern countries produce small amounts of leblebi. The main leblebi-producing regions of Turkey are Denizli (Tavas,Serinhisar), Kütahya (Tavşanlı), Çorum, and Gaziantep, and the method of processing of leblebi shows considerable variations in the different regions. Furthermore, there are many more locally produced leblebi types that are produced and consumed in very small amounts in some regions of Turkey and called depending on local customers Ağın Leblebi, Erzincan Leblebi, and Mardin Leblebi.
The origins of leblebi date back to 1000–1300 years A.D —nearly 1000 years of background history. It has been eaten since Ottoman Empire times in Turkey. Despite this, the literature related to the origin of leblebi, its processing characteristics, composition,and nutritive value is scarce. Although, leblebi mainly originated in Turkey, exact details of leblebi production are not well known.