Friday, October 2, 2009


I confess that I hated hummus when I first tried it in college. I knew it was one of those foods that I should like (like Indian food, which I'd successfully weaned myself onto at the age of 11), and so, I persisted. The cool kids ate hummus, okay. The veg kids. The kids I wanted to be like. So I ate hummus.

(But, to be honest, food service hummus is really bad. I don't need to tell you that.)

We all know that hummus is the workhorse of the veg*n on the go. We search restaurant appetizer menus for hummus & pita, we are consoled by the presence of hummus in chain restaurant salad bars, and, in a good independent sandwich shop or sometimes, blessedly, a mass market one, we are drawn back from the edge of tears (due to no falafel) by hummus.

The best hummus I have ever had was made by the Israeli mom of a staffperson on our literary magazine. Six of us carpooled to New York City for a retreat, and, when we got to J's house, late and famished, two enormous bowls of hummus, dusted with paprika, awaited us. Oh my. Oh my. wow. She made other Israeli specialties too, but that thick creaminess clung to me, like the comfort food she intended it to be.

My favourite brand of packaged hummus (if I must eat packaged) is Sabra. Hands down, it is the best (though I was a Tribe of Two Shieks girl until S came on the scene). It's creamy, not vinegary tasting and it doesn't taste fake. I once bought a tub of hummus made with canola oil straight, instead of tahini. That was a huge mistake, so consider this my PSA. It was bland, unbearable to choke down, basically something that a '50s mom might make. ok, '70s.

Tonight, I corralled three cups (or so) of chickpeas (from dried) and coaxed my blender into making Isa and Terry's recipe from Veganomicon. (Not surprisingly, like most things Isa and Terry make, it is the best recipe of its kind).

After patting it into an old frozen dinner tray for keeps (the only 'tupperware' in the house at the mo'), I scraped out the leftover creaminess with celery sticks.


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