The Jew And The Carrot

Sabra Pushes for Hummus 'Standards' Law

By JTA

Sabra, the popular U.S. hummus company, petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to create a standard for which dips are considered hummus.

Sabra would like hummus to be defined as “the semisolid food prepared from mixing cooked, dehydrated, or dried chickpeas and tahini with one or more optional ingredients,” according to a news release Monday.

Sabra’s 11-page proposed standards would require products called hummus to be predominantly made of chickpeas, with no more than 5 percent tahini.

According to the news release, similar standards exist for other condiments such as ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.

“As the popularity of hummus has soared in the United States over the past decade, the name has been applied to items consisting primarily of other ingredients,” Sabra chief technology officer Tulin Tuzel said in the statement. “From black beans and white beans to lentils, soybeans, and navy beans, everyone wants to call their dip ‘hummus.’“

However, Sabra itself sells a variety of hummus “flavors” that would be unrecognizable to most Israelis like “guacamole hummus” and “edamame hummus.”

No word yet on whether Sabra’s proposed law would impact their own products.

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Sundried Tomatoes and Hummus Finally Meet

By Hannah Rubin

Hannah Rubin

While Roasted Red Pepper hummus may get more press time, you might be surprised to learn that sun dried tomato is sneaking up as the next big thing in flavored hummus. We saw it everywhere. Deeply hued, this rich and tangy red tomato hummus blend wowed us—in more ways than one. In general, we were confused whether to consider it hummus, given that it didn’t look, smell, or taste like the chickpea stuff. But, as we all had to admit, it did taste pretty good.

Well, almost all of us. Our resident Israeli, wouldn’t taste any of the stuff, shouting at us that “Israeli’s do not eat sun dried tomato hummus!! Its an abomination.” He then took off in a huff, and, thankfully, left his share of pita slices behind.

A note on scoring: Each hummus was rated on a scale from one to five based on texture, taste, appearance, smell, and tomato-ey goodness

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Wacky Hummus: Love It or Leave It?

By Hannah Rubin

Hannah Rubin

If you’re a hummus fiend — which I proudly am — you might have noticed a change in your grocer’s selection of hummus in the past couple of years. Suddenly, your options are no longer limited to just pine nuts or no pine nuts.

Welcome to the world of flavored hummus, where ingredients like horseradish, edamame, and guacamole rule the supermarket shelves, alongside exotic seasonings like chipotle and the bizarre buffalo sauce.

Ten years ago, you had to move the guacamole and salsa aside in order to find even just a single lame tub of hummus. It was probably Sabra, and it was almost definitely the original flavor. Cut to 2012 — Sabra now makes 19 different hummus flavors, and Tribe follows with a close 16. Whole supermarket display cases are devoted to the chickpea treat.

But is this latest crazy trend worth all of the hype (and shelf space)? We were curious. So we took it upon ourselves to try the 12 wackiest flavor of hummus we could get our hands on (we know, our jobs are tough). Check out our scores below to find out which flavors to take a chance on and which to leave at the store.

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Taking Hummus South of the Border

By Hannah Rubin

Hannah Rubin

All this week on the Jew and the Carrot, we’ll be taking a close look at the world of hummus. Check out our first post here.

After tasting six classic hummuses, we turned our sights to its next of kin: spicy hummus. Home cooks have been spicing their hummus for generations — adding a little bit of paprika here, or a dash of cumin there, to add a nice kick to their meal or snack.

Hummus companies have taken the work out of spicy hummus and started blending in a variety of spices into their classic recipes. We tasted six different varieties of packaged spicy hummus, to find the best option on the shelf. During our tastings, we tried a few varieties of Jalapeno flavored (which we were surprised to find is a commonly sold hummus), some that were merely labeled “spicy,” and one that tempted us with “40 spices.”

What did we discover? Each spicy hummus somehow tasted different than the last. Even more surprising was how many of them didn’t taste spicy at all.

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