Thursday, June 09, 2005

Chumus, Hummus, or however you spell it.

Chumus is a delicious blend of chick peas, tahini, garlic, lemon, olive oil, and various other seasonings and spices. I've tried recipes for it, and bought a variety of different brands of chumus, but I am rarely moved to recommend them to anyone. So it's a pleasure to find a chumus that I truly enjoy.

In my opinion, The Sabra brand of chumus tops the list. It's creamy, nutty, and tastes of tahini and a bit of garlic, without any of the flavors dominating. I also enjoy Trader Joe's brand of hummus, but it is the penultimate hummus, since it isn't quite as smooth as Sabra, but the flavors are still very good.

I recently met a new Israeli friend who told me that sabra is the Arabic word for thorny cactus, and is a colloquial name given to Israeli people since they are prickly on the outside, but sweet within. I must say this follows completely with my experience of the Israeli people that I've met in LA. Even when I go to the kosher market, where the Sabra brand products are sold, I feel the prickles, but know that it's just the wall that they've built up from years of living in a constant state of war. And even in the U.S., where there isn't constant fighting, at least not the kind experienced in the Middle East, it's still hard for them to let their guard down. Fair enough.

Pita is the natural accompaniment to chumus, and I'm a big fan. I also love fresh veggies, such as cherry tomatoes and cauliflower. I know, eating raw cauliflower sounded weird to me at first, even though it's a staple on the raw veg and dip platters, but it's so fantastic with chumus. Normally it's what's left after the carrots and cucumbers are gobbled up, so I'm always in luck. I prefer the Sabra chumus as a dip, but it's great spread thick on sandwiches piled high with veggies on toasted whole wheat bread. Or eaten with falafel or a chicken pita sandwich.

I have only tried one of the other Sabra salads, and that one I do not recommend. Their baba ganoush tastes of mayonaise, which I find revolting. I like mayonaise normally, but not in a grilled eggplant salad. So avoid that one, unless you like the mayo. And by all means try the other salads and let me know what you think.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That brand is the best. We get it at the coop.

6/09/2005 7:14 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am so envious of your amazing coop. Go Brooklyn for having such a fabulous place to shop.

6/10/2005 6:14 PM  

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