The Jew And The Carrot

In Virginia, It's Out With Tobacco in With Hummus

By Lucy Cohen Blatter

  • Print
  • Share Share

Move over tobacco, it’s time for chickpeas to shine.

It’s increasingly looking like Virginia’s tobacco-farming country may soon be known as hummus country, thanks to Sabra Dipping Company.

This week, the company famous for its plastic pots filled with hummus, matbucha, and other Middle Eastern salads and spreads opened an $86 million research and development center, dubbed the Center of Excellence, near Richmond.

According to Haaretz, the Center is “devoted to the science, production, engineering, packaging and delivery of the chickpea-based spread.”

Sabra is also prodding farmers in the area around the center to replace their tobacco crops with chickpeas, says the Wall Street Journal.

The plan to cultivate chickpeas in Virginia would protect the company in case of a bad crop in the Pacific Northwest (Idaho and Washington specifically), where Sabra grows its stateside chickpeas now. Sourcing chickpeas locally would also lower shipping costs.

“We need to establish the supply chain to meet our growing demand,” Sabra’s chief technology officer, Tulin Tuzel, told the Journal. “We want to reduce the risk of bad weather or concentration in one region. If possible, we also want to expand the growing seasons,” he said.

The large investment comes as hummus’s popularity continues to grow here in the States. According to the USDA, U.S. farmers are expected to plant a record 214,300 acres of chickpeas this year, up 3% from last year.

While it may never be as ubiquitous in the U.S. as it is in Israel, the spread has caught on among consumers — a fact that was proven in 2008 when PepsiCo (could you get more American than that?!) bought a 50% share in Sabra. (The company is now a joint venture between PepsiCo and Israel’s Strauss Group).

Since Americans love nothing more than choice, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the PepsiCo-owned Sabra has expanded its offerings way beyond plain hummus to include basil pesto hummus, chipotle hummus and Asian fusion garden hummus. We’re hungry just thinking about them all. Anyone got some pita chips?


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Sabra, Hummus

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.