Monday, February 20, 2012

Hummus Lurve

I am a hummus snob.

The best hummus I have ever had was back in 1995 at a restaurant called The Olive Mountain, in Evanston, Illinois. I hope to return someday. It was totally amazing.

Ever since then, I have tried to find a decent substitute. I've even tried making my own. Utter Fail.

I've lived in 5 different U.S. states and in one foreign country, and let me tell you, I have tried every hummus available in every supermarket available. They're mostly gross, they're not creamy enough, and they have no acidity. Restaurant hummus is usually much, much better (duh) but seeing as I live in Podunkville, I never have access to restaurant hummus.

So let's just say that out of necessity, I'm something of a self-styled expert in Store-Bought Hummus.

I recently tried Sabra brand hummus, and their Roasted Garlic variety totally rocked. (The other Sabra varieties were just ok for me, but were still miles above most other store brands.) Sabra Roasted Garlic Hummus is not quite Olive Mountain level goodness, but it is creamy and delicious, and my kids absolutely love it to pieces, and I have to fight them for the last scoops. Try it!

Sabra should totally pay me for recommending them, but that's not how I roll.

What are you snacking on?


paola said...

Licorice all sorts!

Is it really all that difficult to make? I saw a cooking programme just the other day and they made 3 different types of hummus. One was the trad. kind and it looked pretty straight forward to make. Another was with broadbeans, but without the tahini, otherwise same ingredients. Third was with beetroot and walnuts, a killer for me, but looked beautiful.

mom2boy said...

Sabra brand hummus and carrots are a staple at my house. I usually just go with regular but tried red pepper (not very exciting) and one other that was way too spicy. I think I'll stick with regular. Not knowing any better and thinking it tasty enough, I've never tried any other brands.

La Mexicana Medium salsa and Tostitos multigrain scoops.

We aren't big snackers beyond fruit and granola bars. Cascadian farms organic brand not bc they are organic but because they are the yummiest granola bars I've found (chewy not crunchy) and they make smaller kids size bars.

Cloud said...

Yummm. I love hummus.

My kids... well, let's just say that they haven't seen the light on that front yet.

Even better than hummus? Skordalia. Yummmmmm.

Anandi said...

Do you guys have a Top Foods or Haggen's? Their store brand garlic hummus in the prepared food area is my FAVORITE. That was a few years ago, so not sure if it's still the same. I'll have to try the Sabra.

If you make it to the Big City in the western half of your state, there's a restaurant called Mediterranean Kitchen that has the most amazing hummus ever. The kind that you want to move in with and have babies with. OMG. (I get to go there on Thursday. I'm considering eating nothing but hummus for dinner...)

Anandi said...

Also, if you do come here. call me :)

Claudia said...

I buy the only hummus available here, which is passable. But my tastebuds have basically shriveled and died since moving to Bumf*ck Denmark.

When in the states, it was of course always the restaurant ones that rocked. I recall fondly a funky little deli on NE Hawthorne at about 16th in Portland that was so very wonderful.

My snacks these days are pathetic, due to experimenting with a gluten-free diet. Though the skordalia that Cloud mentioned sounds divine.

Vacationland Mom said...

I worked at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Pittsburgh PA while in college that, from all accounts, had AMAZING hummus. I personally can't have it (allergic to chickpeas) but people RAVED about it. I remember that they put basically a pool of oil on the top (olive?) and lots of paprika. The cooks were insistent that this was the proper way to serve it. You don't argue with a Syrian chef, trust me.

Anandi said...

@Vacationland Mom - there is a restaurant in Pittsburgh that serves HUMMUS?! And good hummus, at that?! Apparently my hometown got all sorts of yummy things after I left...

Zenmoo said...

It's not hummus, but Lisa's Feta and garlic dip (from NZ) is fantastic. At home, I can ignore all the packaged dips - but not in New Zealand. I'm undecided if it is just that they are more delicious, or if I just need them more to get me through to dinner time at my in-laws (dinner time at their house is often not until 9pm!)

Susan said...

Olive Mountain! I live in Evanston. That stuff is good.

hush said...

@Paola - It is difficult for me to make it creamy enough, and to get the tahini/lemon/olive oil proportions just right. And I'm a lazy cook, so that doesn't help.

@mom2boy - You discovered plutonium without even trying! I'll have to try that brand of chips and salsa, and those granola bars.

@Cloud - Skordalia? (Greek potato and garlic dip) What rock have I been living under? Thanks for that, I need to get my hands on some, stat!

@Anandi - We no longer have Top Foods and have never had Haggen's (sad face). Thanks for the restaurant rec - I will try it someday!

@Claudia - "But my tastebuds have basically shriveled and died since moving to Bumf*ck Denmark." That sucks. You must have to cook at home a lot (which I think sucks, though DH loves it -to each their own).

@Vacationland Mom - "I remember that they put basically a pool of oil on the top (olive?) and lots of paprika. The cooks were insistent that this was the proper way to serve it. You don't argue with a Syrian chef, trust me." :) Yes, I believe that's the secret to proper hummus. I knew there was a reason all of my attempts to make it at home were a fail.

@Zenmoo - Ugh, late dinner times make me crazy for snacks! Ideally, I like to eat around 5:30pm but life too often gets in the way.

@Susan - Welcome! You are lucky to live so close to the O.M. goodness.