It’s tasty. It’s creamy. It’s savoury. It has protein. It has healthy fats. It’s dippable. It’s spoonable. It’s lickable.
No, don’t be gross. I’m talking about hummus.
The humble chickpea is one of nature’s most underwhelming looking foods. So unassuming and beige. But blended with tahini, lemon juice, a hint of garlic and salt, it metamorphizes into one of the triumphs of modern society. Hummus.
I didn’t always love hummus. I thought it was as boring as its predecessor, the chickpea. I would have chosen a pesto-based dip or classic French onion over it any day. But thankfully I’m no longer that naïve. Now I see hummus for what it is.
I started my journey with hummus by making it myself. This seems a bit backwards but I had opened the fridge one day and seen a half-used can of chickpeas and lemon in the fridge. I was struck with inspiration. What I produced was not hummus. It was mashed chickpeas with too much lemon juice and garlic. No tahini, no salt, no love. I didn’t even have a blender, just a fork and an ambitious pronator teres muscle.
But as I dipped my Sakata into that bowl of lumpy beige I saw the potential. With the right ingredients (or at least all of the basic ingredients) something beautiful could be made. I was tantalized. I was hooked.
I bought my first container of store-bought hummus. A beginner’s 250g container. I tried it with a variety of items. Crackers, pita chips, nacho cheese Doritos, my digits. It tasted good with everything. It transcended the boundaries of logic; I don’t even like nacho cheese Doritos but with hummus? It was magic.
At the beginning of this year, I attempted a short stint as a vegan. I did some research on amateur veganism and saw that hummus was an essential component of it. I bought a 1kg tub.
“You’ll never finish that,” said various people in my life (these individuals are no longer welcome in my inner circle). I proved them wrong within one week.
1kg of hummus? I can load up 100g on one pita chip if I really commit to it. That’s 10 chips. That’s nothing. Party? Small get-together? Funeral? Fight club? Board game night? Poker night? Any night? Hummus is an appropriate choice. When is it inappropriate?
That’s a question I’m still trying to find the answer to. I’m 5kg into my hummus obsession and there is no end in sight. There is a hummus colored horizon and a path leading into it that I am traipsing down. This is no road less taken. This is the road that everyone should be taking.
“You know what I could really go for? Some hummus,” I said to my housemate.
“I swear, you say that so many times every day,” she replied.
She did not lie. Whether I’m sad, happy, hungry, full, cold or hot, hummus is usually the answer. I’m no longer an amateur vegan but hummus continues to be my steadfast companion. Thank you, hummus. You’re great.