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The Big Squeeze

Hey that’s no way to eat hummus

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Hummus.(Flickr)

I took most culinary innovations of the past decades with a stiff upper lip. When cereal makers began stuffing their products with freeze-dried fruit that looked like they belonged on the International Space Station, I remained quiet and dignified. When some mad food scientist spliced bacon and mayonnaise, I said not a word.

But hummus in a squeeze bottle? That’s blasphemy.

To be fair, I haven’t tried Zohan Hummus. To be fairer still, everything about it—from the already-stale pop culture reference to the bizarre pillow fight in its ad—seems designed to keep serious hummus connoisseurs away, and should therefore count, perhaps, as some sort of dialectical good. But first principles are first principles: No matter how delicious the paste or how convenient its mode of dispensation, squeezing hummus from a bottle is an abomination.

You see, in Israel, where I was born and where I received years of higher hummus education, one never simply states that one is about to eat hummus. When it comes to hummus, the correct verb is le’nagev, or to wipe. Tear a small piece of pita, introduce it to the plate at an approximate 50-degree-angle, and wipe the tasty paste with short, semi-circular motions. Such is the ritual—anything else is heresy.

To those of our readers whose proclivities demand that food be squeezable, bon appetit. Otherwise, for some serious hummus experience, please consider these guys.

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Scott Aaron says:

L’nagev hummus – now that is some useful information for my next trip and my Shabbat table tonight Thanks and SS!

London Pilgrim says:

Nahh….Home made hummus will always be better. Besides, the addition of lots of fresh garlic and a pinch of cayenne pepper enhances the experience. Hummus is a snap to make, freezes well, is great with raw broccoli, and spread on a sandwich of roasted vegetables on home made bread is a fabulous feast.

Sunny says:

This is disturbing in the extreme. And you don’t need to try it before knocking it, just to be “fair.”

Scott — “SS” to mean Shabbat Shalom, I assume? A rather unfortunate abbreviation, which conjures anything but a peaceful Shabbat on first glance.

Michael Rubin says:

Well I HAVE tasted it and it is amazing. Further it allows me to add a very healthy food to my falafel in a pita and many other things like veggie burgers and hamburgers.

I am on a VERY restricted diet and Hummus, in moderation is a good thing for me. I can control my portions because like many, kaasher nagavti, achalti harbeh meod-v’zeh ha bayah gadol.

Why shouldn’t foods evolve and be used in places and ways they never were before? Yes I’d rather have a nice fresh plate of Israeli hummus and fresh pita but I live in New York. And as I said above, I eat too much of a good thing.

Michael

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The Big Squeeze

Hey that’s no way to eat hummus

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