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Jul 10, 2009 07:12 AM

My hummus is turning 'zippy'- is it fermenting?

We make hummus at home a lot and on a few occasions, it seems to have gone bad quickly. It does not turn color or anything, but gets this zippy tangy taste, almost like it's fermenting. I use pretty standard ingerdients each time (chick peas, tahini, s&p, olive oil) and sometimes add extras. This most recent batch had smoked paprika and roasted garlic. It's not left out or anything and is happening after only two days. Anyone know what/why this is happening and how to prevent it?

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  1. Definitely fermenting and since it's the sugars that are turning, the chickpeas are suspect. If you are cooking dried beans, I can see it more than if you're using just-opened cans. Don't let the beans soak indefinitely or leave the finished ones at room temp; once they have cooled, refrigerate.

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      thanks for the response. i use canned, organic chick peas, either westbrae or eden. do you know how i can stop this from happening?

      1. re: amp156

        Then the only other thing that comes to mind to explain why it happens some times and not others is the level of yeast/mold spores in the air. If, for example, you have fresh fruit on the counter you might have more - humidity and room temp would also have an impact.

      2. re: greygarious

        hummus also freezes well if you want to make a batch and freeze portions. extra lemon will slow down the fermenting also.

      3. Dude, you're missing the lemon juice. Essential for awesome tasting hummus, and it's a natural preservative!

        1 Reply
        1. re: anna.c.k

          This makes total sense. OP, did you forget to list lemon juice as an ingredient, or did you leave it out of your hummus?

        2. Hummus fermenting after two days seems highly unlikely. Perhaps your flavor perception just changed. i.e. if you had smelled alot of food while you were making the hummus, or tasted alot of it, you may not have realized how zippy it was until your palate cleared and you tried it a few days later.

          Your fridge could also be the incorrect temperature.

          1 Reply
          1. re: AndrewK512

            A zippy, tangy taste is undeniable; it's fermentation, and has a effervescent effect on the tongue, like a mouthful of seltzer. If that's what the OP is experiencing, then the hummus is going south. I don't think I've ever had hummus ferment quite that quickly, but in the warm summer weather, with other variables, I'm sure it's possible.

          2. Do you rinse your canned beans? I noticed the same phenomenon with mine and a friend told me to rinse the canned beans in a colander until they stopped foaming when the water hit them and drain them really well. Haven't had it happen since.