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The Ultimate Store-Bought Hummus Taste Test


We tend to not give much thought to hummus. It’s just chick peas ground up and mixed with some other stuff, to be eaten with pita or baby carrots as a healthy snack, right? But hummus has a long history, and there are plenty of brands of it on the market, some tastier than others. We put eight to the test, and were left with one top choice.

The Ultimate Store-Bought Hummus Taste Test (Slideshow)

Whether you spell it hummus, hummous, houmous, hommos, humos, hommus or hoummos, all hummus is prepared basically the same way. The standard formula involves mashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic, with differing ratios of each giving each variety its own special twist. Some boost the garlic, others the tahini, which others leave out the tahini altogether, like the most basic one sold by Trader Joe’s.

Hummus has been eaten in the Middle East since at least the 13th century, and is renowned for its health benefits. It’s a complete protein when eaten with pita (which makes it a hit with vegetarians), and it’s high in iron, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. It’s also incredibly versatile; it’s just at home inside a falafel sandwich as it is next to the Doritos on the snack table.

Not all hummus is created alike, however, so we decided to put eight varieties of plain hummus to the test. We tested the most popular brands, like Tribe and Sabra, but also one lesser-known ones, like Abraham’s and Yorgo’s. In the end, there was one clear winner.

In order to judge the hummus, our tasters sampled each brand blindly, with the option of pita or baby carrots to scoop them up. They were judged primarily on flavor, but texture, creaminess, smell, and overall enjoyment factor were also in play.


How To Tell If Hummus Goes Bad: The Ultimate Guide

What is there not to love about hummus? It is delicious, it’s packed with nutrition, and you can pair it with nearly everything!

Take a Look ↓↓↓

You can stuff your face full of it without feeling a shred of guilt, and it is enjoyable all year round.

If you live in a home of hummus lovers, then you may find yourself buying in bulk on occasion. The big question for you is, ‘does hummus go bad?’

Well, sorry to break your heart but yes it does.

Does unopened Hummus expire?

Of course, it is like most things that you put in a fridge, hummus will expire even if unopened.

Commercially produced hummus has preservatives and if often pasteurized as well. It may be packaged and sealed in a sterile environment which will future protect your blessed hummus from contamination by bacteria.

However, the copious amounts of moisture that is found inside hummus, does mean that no matter how well packaged, bacteria will eventually form and once this happened, your hummus is ruined!


M&S, Velvet houmous, 170g, £1.50

An “Israeli-style” hummus which dials down the chickpeas (28% of the ingredients most hummus is 40%-50%), but goes heavy on the salt – 1.08g/100g – to produce an eerily airy, silky hummus which, not unexpectedly, tastes prominently of salt. Salt and spikier compounds in all probability produced by inelegant interactions between the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic. Flavour-wise, the chickpeas and tahini are fringe players in a hummus that is an anonymous beige paste.

Verdict: lost in translation. 3/10


SECRET TIPS for making INCREDIBLY CREAMY homemade hummus which is much tastier than store-bought options

Unlike mass-produced hummus for the supermarkets, this homemade recipe gives you full control over what goes into it. Here are my secret tips for creating ultra-creamy, light and mouth-watering hummus.

Mushy chickpeas

Use tender, mushy chickpeas as they will be softer and easier to blend. I’ve rinsed and boiled a can of chickpeas in water and added baking powder to help break down their skins which means you don’t have to peel them. You only need to cook them for 10-15 minutes. Then you drain them and rinse them with cold water to cool them right down and remove the baking powder. This simple step means your chickpeas will be soft and perfect for blitzing into an ultra-smooth purée.

Good quality tahini

Tahini is the main reason why homemade hummus tastes so much better than store-bought. Store-bought options like Sainsburys hummus is mass-made, and often money is saved in the recipes by using less tahini – sneaky!

Don’t skimp on the tahini in your homemade hummus – you need to use 100g tahini per can of chickpeas for the richest and irresistible hummus you’ll ever taste in your life.

Ok, now I can share my secret tip. If you can find ROASTED sesame seed tahini, this will add a gorgeous warmth and subtle nuttiness to your hummus. I found some in my local international supermarket. Alternatively, the chef I spoke to in Marrakech lightly toasted sesame seeds on a griddle pan before adding them to his recipe. Honestly, it’s a game-changer – you heard it here first!

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

In my opinion, store-bought lemon juice tastes sad and bitter. I love the vibrancy and zing which freshly squeezed lemon juice provides. So be sure to use fresh lemon juice for a more vibrant and pleasing homemade hummus recipe.

Olive oil

Olive oil is optional, and I appreciate you might not want to add it if you’re on a particular diet. However, I believe the addition of olive oil makes the hummus taste even more luxurious and creamy.

Cumin

Cumin is an authentic Middle Eastern spice which is commonly used in traditional hummus recipes. It works perfectly and makes your homemade hummus that little more special.


Taste Test: The Best Hummus

Judges shamelessly lost all sense of portion control when digging into this "creamy and thick" spread, infused with the "perfect blend of lemon and garlic." Unlike most traditional hummus, this dip doesn&apost contain tahini (sesame paste), lending it a "lighter" texture that begged to be slathered on cracker after cracker. ($3.50 for 16 ounces, available at most Trader Joe&aposs stores)

This "fresh and tangy" winner gave tasters the heat they craved without setting off a four-alarm blaze in their mouths. The secret? "Just the right amount of jalapeños." Judges also gave the hummus props for authenticity: It uses extra-creamy Israeli tahini. ($3.30 for 8 ounces, available at Whole Foods Markets, or go to holyandbrand.com for stores)

BEST RED PEPPER

Abraham&aposs All Natural Hummos with Roasted Red Peppers

Our tasters happily ate this winner with their eyes first, noting its beautiful "charred bits" of roasted red peppers. (Plenty of competitors spiked theirs with roasted pepper flavoring.) Made in small batches, its "smoky sweetness" went over big with judges. ($4.50 for 8 ounces, available online at abrahamsnatural.com)

BEST ODDBALL

Sabra Sun Dried Tomatoes Hummus

Sun-dried tomatoes are the center of attention here. A "supersmooth" chickpea base orbits "chewy, bright bits" of tomato. Just don&apost let the crudités platter have all the fun: One taster raved that this "full-bodied and intense" hummus would add much-needed zest to a turkey sandwich. ($4 for 10 ounces, available at most grocery stores)

BEST GARLIC

Tribe All Natural Roasted Garlic Hummus

Our picky panel hardly needed convincing that this hummus was one of Tribe&aposs bestsellers. While other garlic varieties left them hankering for a fistful of mints, this version had a "sweet garlic flavor" with a hint of lemon for balance. Now that turns a celery stalk into a tasty snack. ($3.50 for 8 ounces, available at most grocery stores)


Hummus Taste Test

H ummus? Humos? Houmous? However you choose to spell it, this delightful chickpea dip is a healthy, filling, and flavorful food. Hummus is naturally gluten-free, vegan, low-fat, and packed with protein. That makes it a great health-conscious choice to serve at parties with pita or crudités, as an after-school snack with fresh veggies, or spread on a sandwich or wrap.

Consumed throughout the Middle East for thousands of years, this nut-free yet nutty-tasting spread has been steadily gaining popularity in the United States. It&aposs now a supermarket staple, produced by many companies in a whole host of flavors.

So while it&aposs not difficult to find hummus in stores, it can be challenging to pick the best of the bunch. To find the perfect hummus, we tasted the gold (or should we say beige?) standard—the classic, or plain, variety𠅏rom 10 widely available brands. We were looking for the right balance of lemon, chickpea, tahini, and garlic flavors as well as a smooth, rich, and creamy consistency. Though some brands were disappointing, three spectacular spreads earned our recommendation.

Best Hummus

Pros: The tasters enjoyed the bright flavor and satisfying mouthfeel of this hummus. "I could eat it by itself! I love the hint of lemon," said one judge. "Just creamy enough, but maintains an interesting texture," noted another tester.

Cons: Some judges felt that it had a gritty appearance: "Very grainy, almost chunky-looking."

First Runner-Up

Pros: Judges delighted in the rich, creamy texture and bold, garlicky kick of this hummus. Many felt it would be especially good as a spread. "This would be great on a sandwich!" said one taster.

Cons: This hummus lost a few points for being on the salty side.

Second Runner-Up

Pros: The pleasant texture of this hummus was a big hit with the judges. "It&aposs very smooth and creamy without being too processed," one noted. Testers also enjoyed the light and earthy flavor. "Chickpea-forward taste and nice level of tanginess," wrote one taster.

Cons: Some testers criticized this hummus for being too plain. One noted, "earthy, but a little bland."

The Other Contenders

The hummus made by Whole Foods was lauded for its strong lemony flavor, and Tribe was praised for its pleasant garlicky and herbaceous notes. Yorgo&aposs brand garnered favor for its velvety consistency, while Trader Joe&aposs and Good Neighbors were found too thin and too thick, respectively. Tasters disliked Boar&aposs Head brand&aposs artificial aftertaste and the sharp, sour flavor of Abraham&aposs.

Additional Taste Test Details

All 10 types of hummus evaluated are available in supermarkets nationwide. In order from highest to lowest score achieved, they are: Humm!, Sabra, Cedar&aposs, Whole Foods, Tribe, Yorgo&aposs, Trader Joe&aposs, Good Neighbors, Boar&aposs Head, and Abraham&aposs.

Methodology: In a blind taste test, judges compared the flavor, consistency, and appearance of 10 brands of plain hummus. Results were ranked using the Epicurious four-fork rating system (four being best).


We Tasted Hummus From 8 Popular Brands and This Was the Clear Favorite

There is definitely one brand of prepared hummus that stands out among the rest. If you&rsquore not making your own, this is the hummus to buy.

There is no doubt that hummus is one of the most amazingly simple yet versatile dips out there. The pureed chickpea- and tahini-based spread is traditionally flavored with fresh lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, and salt. Although many forms of hummus imposters—made by replacing the classic chickpeas with other vegetables/legumes and layering on alternative flavor profiles—have emerged in recent years, given that “hummus” literally translates to chickpeas in Arabic, I felt it best to remain a purist for the purposes of this taste test. In the search for the best prepared hummus on the market, I went to three major grocery store chains, collecting 8 brands of hummus for the MyRecipes team to sample. As noted above, I kept it classic and gathered the original “plain” version of each brand.

MyRecipes’ assistant editor, Sara Tane, also whipped up a batch of her famous homemade hummus to serve as the control sample for the group. Little side note while we’re on the subject of homemade, if you decide to make your own hummus, you’re going to need to purchase a jar of tahini, and we’ve already determined that the best tahini paste available is made by Soom. And, I’ll let you in on a secret—serving your hummus with raw onions is the one of the best hummus hacks you should to know about. Now I’m going to be honest with you, the homemade control batch was truly the standout star of the entire tasting. Point being, whenever you have a can of chickpeas on-hand at home, my recommendation is to go ahead and make it yourself. However, if it’s one of those weeks when even five minutes saved with a grocery store convenience purchase can make a huge difference… no shame at all, but it’s best to shop knowledgeably. So without further adieu, here’s a review of the hummus brands we tasted, kicking off with our top pick.

Roots hummus was, by far, the group favorite. While this brand’s original hummus is not perfectly smooth in texture, the detectable pieces of chickpeas give the spread a homemade quality we really enjoyed. Beyond that, in terms of texture, this is a full-bodied hummus that’s whipped into a delightfully fluffy product. The tahini flavoring is fully present in this brand’s hummus, but not overpowering or bitter. Neither is this hummus overly tangy that said, some editors felt that it could use just a touch more acidity. Aside from producing the as-close-to-homemade-as-you’re-ever-gonna-buy hummus, bonus points to Roots brand for their modern, well-designed packaging that’s easy to spot in the myriad of other dip options in the chilled, prepared food section of the grocery store. All of the spread’s ingredients are labeled front and center on the lid of the container for a transparent view of everything that’s inside.

The Cedar’s brand “hommus” was our panel’s next favorite choice. Although the silky-smooth, light texture was a something of a contrast to the Root’s brand, it was truly delightful. In addition to the creamy hummus’ great consistency, it delivers a very well balanced flavor of toasty, savory richness and acidic brightness. As a brand, Cedar’s prides themselves on making hummus the “traditional” way, and they also source non-GMO and vine-dried garbanzo beans.

Hope brand hummus, was a “like it, but don’t love it” situation for our team. The consistency was on the thin/watery side, which didn’t leave use terribly hopeful about the flavor. However, this brand’s original hummus did offer a very fresh, well-seasoned flavor with a strong garlicky presence that other brands couldn’t match. Another good thing going for this hummus is the brand’s packaging is highly eye-catching. I could 100% see myself choosing this hummus solely based on its bright yellow color scheme match with clean, bold fonts.

I had high hopes for the Trader Joe’s version of hummus largely because most products from Trader Joe’s are typically amazing, but we found that their hummus was also fairly runny. While on the thin side, TJ’s hummus did offer the more textured, homemade consistency that we liked in the Roots brand. Alas, the flavor was relatively bland and left us wanting for more tahini, more garlic and more overall seasoning. That said, of all the brands we tasted, you will get the most bang for your buck in purchasing your hummus from Trader Joe’s given that their 16-ounce container gives you the largest amount of hummus for the average price of $3.50.

Sabra is certainly one of the most well-known brands when it comes to hummus. It was first of its kind on the U.S market and is a highly popular pick among consumers. However, given all of the relative newcomers on the hummus scene, especially after this tasting, I𠆝 say the brand may have to watch its back with the new flux of competition in the market. We found Sabra to be just OK, and not exactly idea in the flavor department. It had a very creamy texture that everyone agreed was noteworthy, but the hummus was lacking any depth of flavor. We found ourselves wanting for a fresher lemon flavor as well as any inkling of rich nuttiness as we tasted this somewhat diluted tasting spread.

The Engine 2 brand was created by a former firefighter that focuses on a variety of plant-based products and this backstory detail might be the most interesting thing about the hummus. It was, in short, not memorable. It lacked acidity and was bordering on too salt. In reviewing the tasting notes, it seems we generally enjoyed Engine 2’s texture.

Lantana is the only brand in this lineup that does not make their “hummus” from chickpeas. This wild card brand uses alt ingredients such as carrots, black beans, and edamame to create their creamy spreads. I grabbed a container of the original white bean hummus out of curiosity, just to see how it would compare to the traditional versions. In summation, we would not purchase this brand over real-deal hummus. The flavor was overly tangy and it needed a punch more tahini plus, the texture was less than desirable. If this was product was touted as a �n dip,” rather than hummus, it might be a decent contender compared to other such dips.

Simply Balanced is a line of branded food products at Target, many of which I’ve found to be great I happened to notice that they have their own hummus when I was shopping, so I grabbed a container. I regret doing so. This was unquestionably the least favorite of the bunch in fact, it was the only hummus that every tester adamantly disliked. The hummus had a weird lingering metallic aftertaste, but it was also strangely sweet. If you happen to find yourself shopping for hummus at Target, in this case, I recommend you bypass the store brand.


Taste Test: The Best Olives

"Crisp" might seem like an odd description for an olive -- and more appropriate to an apple. But olives are fruits, too, and these beauties are unmistakably fresh. Lemon zest, oregano, garlic and coriander lend a complex, addictive flavor. "I would devour these anytime, anywhere," one taster declared. And she can: They come in small, resealable bags that are perfect for on-the-go snacking.

Best Kalamata

Who knew there were so many kalamata varieties on shelves? We sampled over 20 brands before picking our winner. These tender olives are the ultimate greek salad topper. You&aposll have to pit them yourself, but they&aposre well worth the effort. One panelist announced: "My search for the perfect kalamata ends here!"

Best Oddball

Divina Green Olives Stuffed with Sundried Tomato

Gotcha! These orbs might look like typical red-and-green olives, but sun-dried tomato stuffing adds a sharp and delightful bite. "They&aposre two antipasti in one!" exclaimed one taster. Serve &aposem at your next party -- they&aposre elegant even on toothpicks.

Best Pepper-Stuffed

Gloria&aposs Harvest Pepper Stuffed Green Olives

Olives come stuffed with a variety of peppers, but we love the classic pimiento. With a mild filling and just-salty-enough brine, these olives would be at home garnishing a salami sandwich or bobbing in a cocktail. "They&aposre making me crave a martini!" admitted one taster, as she popped a smooth, glossy olive into her mouth.

Best Black

Tassos Natural Black Olives

Open the jar and the first thing you&aposll notice is a round, fruity aroma. Try one -- watch out for the pit -- and savor its buttery-rich flavor and silky texture. "They&aposre so fancy-looking, you&aposd think they came from a swanky bar," raved one seduced panelist. Serve them with warm flatbread and crumbled feta cheese for an effortlessly impressive appetizer.


Tahini

Tahini is hummus&rsquos major source of richness and flavor and significantly affects its consistency. Brand and color matter here, since the tahini&rsquos shade indicates how much the sesame seeds have been roasted. Lighter tahini, made with lightly roasted sesame seeds, tastes distinct but mild, whereas darker tahini, made with heavily roasted sesame seeds, is unpleasantly bitter.

One thing I discovered: It&rsquos important to process the other hummus ingredients before adding the tahini. That&rsquos because its proteins readily absorb water and clump, resulting in overly thick hummus. Processing the other ingredients without the tahini allows the water to disperse throughout the mixture then, when the tahini is eventually added, its proteins can&rsquot immediately absorb the water and clump, and the hummus doesn&rsquot become stiff.


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Too much acid, not enough onion. Only 10 per cent onion in fact, compared with almost one-third allium in the Aldi and Ritz offerings. A high percentage of cream cheese means this can become quite sickly, quite quickly.

As good as supermarket French onion dip gets. Photo: Callan Boys

Ritz Dipz, 185g, $2.50

This may be as good as supermarket French onion dip gets. Tiny bits of rehydrated onion energise each bite and the base actually tastes like cream cheese. (The manufacturer also owns the Philadelphia brand.)

Hummus

Best reserved for office Christmas parties. Photo: Callan Boys

Chris' Dips, 200g, $3.50

A whack of vinegar almost saves Chris' chickpea mash from blandness but it leaves a sour aftertaste. Blended with canola oil, this is a dip best reserved for those office Christmas parties you don't want to be at.

Hits the sweet spot between thick and fluffy. Photo: Callan Boys

Yalla, 350g, $6.80

Yalla makes snack-worthy soups, yoghurts and salsas, and this preservative-free hummus hits the sweet spot between thick and fluffy. Featuring fresh lemon juice balanced by a backbeat of garlic. Top stuff.

This classic rendition is a smooth player. Photo: Callan Boys

Obela, 220g, $3.50

Obela are hummus specialists with more than 10 varieties. This classic rendition is a smooth player, buzzing with above-average tahini and presented with an attractive swirl in its plastic tub.

Taramasalata

Shades of Peck's Anchovette paste. Photo: Callan Boys

Black Swan, 200g, $3.50

If you're a fan of Peck's Anchovette paste, you'll love Black Swan's cured cod "caviar" dip with its injection of fish oil. If you don't enjoy the taste of canned tuna left in the sun, move along.

Bright burst of lemon and airy texture. Photo: Callan Boys

Pilpel, 180g, $6.00

A true blue winner with a bright burst of lemon and airy texture. Pilpel's tarama isn't overly fishy, so if you're chasing a big whiff of the ocean you could always enhance it with a spoonful of salmon roe.

Best paired with cucumber or celery. Photo: Callan Boys

Fresh Fodder, 200g, $5.30

A pleasant, lightly textured tarama suitable for all occasions. The Orange-based Fodder company isn't afraid of seasoning, meaning this is a dip better carried by cucumber or celery than a salty biscuit.

Tzatziki

Excellent value. Photo: Callan Boys

Chris' Dips, 200g, $3.50

Founding his dip brand 35 years ago, Christos Tassios can be credited with putting tzatziki on picnic tables all over Australia. This cucumber-flecked yoghurt is sharp, refreshing and offers excellent value.

Vegan tzatziki made from chickpeas. Photo: Callan Boys

Score: Fifya, 250g, $5.50

Did anyone ask for a vegan tzatziki made from chickpeas? Yes? No? Anyway, it's here and it's not very good. This is more of a herbed grey sludge than anything identifiable as tzatziki. Half a point for the amount of dill.

Made from 94 per cent Australian ingredients. Photo: Callan Boys

Paradise Beach Purveyors, 200g, $8.00

The cucumber is plentiful and the yoghurt milky, flavoured by garlic and mint. Kudos to Paradise Beach for making this cooling tzatziki from 94 per cent Australian ingredients, too.

Enhance store-bought hummus with sumac, pine nuts and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.