The Fresser

Why I'll be dipping in

This weekend has hummus written all over it — National Hummus Day and Lag B'omer — here's how to enjoy it

May 12, 2017 12:31

Tomorrow is International Hummus Day 2017.

Since when did a food have its own day? Every week another celebration of one form of nosh or other.

Bagels, doughnuts, vegetarians, chocolate, lamb and even carrots have a special day. Each one the brainchild of marketing executives. Nonsense.  

However, it’s also Lag B’Omer this weekend, and as hummus has been suffering a bit of bad PR, I’ll go with it and make hummus star of the show.

I’m not a fan of supermarket branded hummus. It’s far from the real deal — tasting grainy, acidic and sour. One of my favourite brands, and the only one Mr Fresser and the mini-Fressers comment (happily) upon when they find it in the Ocado order is Me Too!

It was founded by Ramona Hazan, who uses a recipe given to her by her Turkish grandparents. She started out making it at home at night whilst selling computers by day schlepping suitcases of it out to customers. Even with a head start, it took her several attempts to get the hummus just right. “My friends tasted it and told me to stick with computers” she laughs.

She ignored them and finally hit upon a winning formula, which blends chick peas, lemon, garlica and tahini. “The tahini is really important as it gives the hummus a nutty taste and the thicker texture. It’s important to use good quality tahini.”

Hazan believes the key to her success is making it in small, bulk batches — which she does at her kitchens in north Watford — and not on an industrial scale.

She’s passionate about the chick pea paste and has seen it move into the mainstream since founding her business. “Hummus is no longer a luxury product, it has become a staple in our diets. I’m trying to take everyone back to what hummus should be and not the mass-produced versions.”

Hummus is brilliant for sneaking some extra protein into your children's diets, and a few veggies — which they barely notice while they're busy dipping. It's an ideal standing-in-the-kitchen snack and essential for lining your pitta before the falafel (or other filling) goes in.

Hazan has a few more serving suggestions:

  1. Swap mayo for hummus in your sandwiches – it’s perfect to spread on bread and provides lots of great nutrients. (I love it smeared on a hot toasted wholemeal bagel with cucumber or tomatoes. 
  2. Use it as a salad dressing — beetroot hummus adds a lovely pop of colour. I blob hummus into salads I take to work as it adds flavour and keeps the salad moist.
  3. Serve jalapeno hummus with nachos — perfect for watching the big match.
  4. It’s ideal with grilled vegetables and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
  5. If you’re barbecuing, hummus is a quick and easy extra to serve with the salads – hummus and lamb are a match made in heaven.


May 12, 2017 12:31

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