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Where to get great hummus

e
excel Sep 11, 2009 06:21 PM

who's got the best hummus and where can I get it???

  1. m
    MeMeMe Jan 5, 2010 12:46 PM

    Kalendar on College Street has always had a wonderful hummus plate. (along with most things they serve).

    1. jollyinebriate Jan 4, 2010 10:41 PM

      Nobody's mentioned this yet but I the hummus they sell at Rowe Farms is really good. It was mentioned in Toronto Life awhile back but I can't remember the name.

      1. k
        Kamel Jan 4, 2010 07:27 PM

        I was born in hummus and today my favorite one in definetely Fontaine Sante Hummus and specially the roasted garlic and the 7 pepper. The plain one is the best in its category and I serve it with olive oil and paprika topping. Urban fresh Sobeys have the most variety downtown.
        Sabra hummus is too heavy and is full of chemicals (Not suprising since it belongs to Pepsi!!!)
        Sunflower kitchen is also good, but why do they use citric acid?
        For the rest, such as President choice hummus, it is not hummus. It has this awful bitter after taste and it is made from cans (T»he first ingredient, chickpeas, contains water and salt)
        Happy New year and don't forget to replace mayonnaise by hummus is your sandwiches.

        1. Chester Eleganté Nov 25, 2009 01:07 PM

          Sabra and Sunflower Kitchen are good for grocery store versions. I used to like Me va me's hummus, but when i tried the olive version recently (first time in a couple years) it was terrible - more resembling a sour cream dip, way too airy, olive pieces mashed in instead of chunked, tasting nothing of chickpea. I'll have to go back and see what the deal is.

          I've been content getting my hummus regularly from a Lebanese vendor in the Waldorf Farmers Market in Thornhill. It's unlike any other product on the market. He sprouts his chickpeas, and makes a much denser version than the norm, topped with cumin or cayenne. Really enjoy the fresh flavour (don't like the raw version though).

          Speaking of the market, there's a Jamaican vendor who makes excellent patties. She uses her roti filling for the chicken version, so you get potatoes, carrots, etc. Patty deluxe. Her beef version is good too but I can't resist that chicken. Crust is from spelt flour. She also has full plates, roti, homemade ginger beer, and desserts to choose from.

          10 Replies
          1. re: Chester Eleganté
            r
            radiopolitic Nov 25, 2009 01:29 PM

            There's a hummus vendor at Waldorf? The market is on Saturday's right? I went to school there for a long time back in the day.

            Just to clarify - what do you mean by 'raw version?'

            I generally go for Sunflower Kitchen for supermarket bought stuff.

            Best hummus I ever had was a 13th century proto-hummus recipe I made with a friend. We both agreed it was the best varietal we'd ever had.

            1. re: radiopolitic
              Chester Eleganté Nov 25, 2009 01:35 PM

              Yup, Saturdays until about 1pm. I mean he also makes a version using raw chickpeas. He also prepares various dishes (vegan, I think). Give the hummus a shot; I know you are quite particular about these types of food.

              1. re: Chester Eleganté
                1sweetpea Nov 25, 2009 02:06 PM

                I'm guessing what Chester Elegante meant by "raw" version is dry chickpeas that are soaked, then sprouted, then ground and mixed with typical hummus ingredients. The raw version is an acquired taste. Obviously the vendor makes a raw, sprouted chickpea hummus, as well as the typical cooked version most of us know and love. Sprouting legumes makes them much more digestible, but of the various legumes that can be sprouted and eaten raw (and alive), chickpeas are not among the most popular. They can be somewhat bitter. By contrast, lentil sprouts, which you can make yourself or buy at some grocery stores, are sweet and crunchy. No doubt you've tried mung bean sprouts. Chickpea sprouts are a bit tougher to come by, mostly due to lack of popularity. I don't mind the taste, but personally, I vastly prefer the taste of cooked chickpeas, in hummus and other preparations.

                1. re: 1sweetpea
                  Chester Eleganté Nov 25, 2009 02:21 PM

                  Thanks for the added detail. As another example, raw chickpea flour batter (for socca) is pretty gross, but the cooked socca is plenty delicious.

                  How is the 13th C. one made?

                  1. re: Chester Eleganté
                    The Chowhound Team Nov 27, 2009 03:43 AM

                    radiopolitic's hummus recipe has been split off and moved to the Home Cooking board.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/670011

                2. re: Chester Eleganté
                  r
                  radiopolitic Nov 25, 2009 02:23 PM

                  Thanks for the tip :)
                  My old Wally classmate is gonna pick some up this weekend and head my way.

                  Thanks for the explanation 1sweetpea.

                  1. re: Chester Eleganté
                    r
                    radiopolitic Dec 2, 2009 09:05 PM

                    Alright, so I just had a bit of a hummus taste off.

                    In the lineup - Waldorf vendor's regular hummus, the raw hummus and some Fontaine Sante I had sitting in my fridge.

                    Fontaine Sante was definitely the creamiest of the bunch and the heaviest. As I had suspected the raw version was the most grainy of the bunch which wasn't very surprising.

                    The raw stuff definitely had a bit of a bitter taste and while it isn't bad I wouldn't go for it very regularly as I prefer the more traditional flavouring.

                    The regular stuff from the Waldorf vendor though is superb. Very clean, fresh tasting, and not at all heavy. I would highly recommend anyone pick this up to try. Yummy!

                    Thanks again Chester Eleganté for the recommendation.

                    1. re: radiopolitic
                      Dr Butcher Dec 3, 2009 05:54 AM

                      I recently bought some of the Fontaine Sante and I really enjoy it. I do like my hummus to be a little creamier, (I find that there are tiny bits of chickpea skins that give it a little bit of a strange mouth feel to me). The flavour is very good.

                      1. re: Dr Butcher
                        5
                        5andman Dec 3, 2009 07:54 AM

                        Love the hummus at Falafel World (Bloor West & Jane).

                      2. re: radiopolitic
                        Chester Eleganté Dec 23, 2009 05:23 PM

                        Yeah it's awesome, so it's been the only one I've been getting for a couple years now, though I've started to try some other ones again recently. Just tried the Fontaine..it's pretty nice, and is quite similar in profile and texture to the Sunflower one so I can see why you like it. The only thing is that I'm finding it a little too sour - and that it becomes predominantly so as I eat more of it. They do use a lemon juice concentrate - which is better than the citric acid you see in many other brands - but they could go easier on that. Also, vinegar is one of the last ingredients, which is just unnecessary.

                        I had some of the Sabra as well -- when I was noting the occasional bitter undertones to you earlier, I found that it was only present in the hummus with pinenuts and herbs. It didn't exist in the plain version. I still endorse it - it's more in the Israeli vein, the creamier, more tahini-centric style.

                3. p
                  pistachio peas Sep 15, 2009 10:05 PM

                  You should make hummus at home, but with the best place to get it is without a doubt Ezra's Pound on Dupont near Spadina.

                  1. Baelsette Sep 15, 2009 01:28 PM

                    Without a doubt Sabra Hummus. The hummus is the closest thing I've found to the hummus that I used to enjoy while living in the mid east.
                    It's creamy and smooth and the flavour is amazing. My personal fav is the roasted garlic.

                    1. j
                      jennyorenda Sep 14, 2009 05:06 PM

                      ursula's, available at noah's natural foods. verrrrry garlic-y. go during the week and get it in bulk (and for cheaper) from sunny's lunch counter inside the store at spadina and bloor.

                      1. j
                        joellita Sep 14, 2009 06:33 AM

                        I personally think that the hummus from Arz Bakery is awesome - just the right amounts of lemon and garlic. Their babaganouj is delish as well, really nice smokey flavour.

                        1. Full tummy Sep 13, 2009 07:51 PM

                          There really should be a hummus taste-off, with all these different views...

                          1. e
                            excel Sep 12, 2009 05:35 PM

                            Thanks everyone for their feedback! I''m definitely going to try them all out

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: excel
                              m
                              millygirl Sep 13, 2009 07:09 AM

                              Good article in yesterday's National Post.....

                              www.nationalpost.com/related/links/st...

                            2. Manybears Sep 12, 2009 10:12 AM

                              A little non-traditional (and not much acid) but too me, the most delicious hummus I've bought is the dill hummus from Grains, Curds and Beans on Dundas St. W. It never lasts more than a day-- I can't stop eating it-- so satisfying.

                              1. Davwud Sep 12, 2009 06:48 AM

                                Schefler's at SLM or Cedar Grill in Newmarket

                                DT

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: 1sweetpea
                                  p
                                  piccola Sep 12, 2009 09:17 AM

                                  I'm one of those people who won't buy something I can make at home for less. But somehow, my homemade hummus is never as good as storebought. And it's such a cheap splurge to begin with that I don't mind paying for it.

                                  That said, I buy grocery store hummus - usually the Sabra brand.

                                  1. re: piccola
                                    aser Sep 12, 2009 12:56 PM

                                    I think it's not as good because most home cooks don't put enough seasoning into the hummus. The chickpeas can take a lot of salt/pepper, tahini, roasted garlic and acid.

                                    Also I think most home cooks don't have the patience to soak dried chickpeas overnight. Most are using canned, which isn't as good.

                                    1. re: aser
                                      p
                                      piccola Sep 13, 2009 06:37 PM

                                      It's also my own fault for trying to make it a little less rich. I'm sure adding a half-cup of oil (instead of my paltry few tbsp) helps.

                                      1. re: piccola
                                        Full tummy Sep 13, 2009 07:50 PM

                                        I find that sometimes adding more cooking water, instead of more oil, does the trick nicely.

                                    2. re: piccola
                                      ms. clicquot Sep 12, 2009 03:06 PM

                                      There was a recent discussion on the Home Cooking board that had some great tips for making hummus at home:

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/316864

                                  2. c
                                    childofthestorm Sep 12, 2009 05:54 AM

                                    I love the hummus at Jerusalem on Eglinton, and they will sell large tubs of it.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: childofthestorm
                                      d
                                      DDD Sep 12, 2009 06:16 AM

                                      I think Sababa's is also very good - they also sell small and large containers. But it is only good for about 4 or 5 days.
                                      If I don't want to make the trek up towm and am in a big grocery store - I'll get the Sabra supremely spicy at Sobeys or the Loblaw's hummus with Zaatar-quite good for mass produced....but Sababa's is always preferable.

                                      1. re: DDD
                                        Paulustrious Sep 12, 2009 02:59 PM

                                        It freezes OK.

                                        1. re: DDD
                                          food face Sep 16, 2009 04:15 AM

                                          I do love Sababa's hummus as well as the rest of their dips. I also think the Armenian Kitchen makes a nice hummas as well as Baba Ganoush.

                                      2. Dr Butcher Sep 12, 2009 05:04 AM

                                        I've always been a fan of Me Va Me's hummus. It's very smooth and has a pronounced tahini flavour to it. It's pretty easy to replicate at home so I haven't felt the need to head out there in a while.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Dr Butcher
                                          Moimoi Dec 19, 2009 10:09 AM

                                          Dr. Butcher, I'd LOVE to know how to easily "replicate" the hummus from Me Va Me. I've tried others, including Ararat. I'm also an extremely competent cook, have made hummus MANY times and even been to Israel several times, and NOTHING in my opinion comes close to Me Va Me's hummus with olives or fried eggplant or baba ganoush... If you have a recipe that can "replicate" the creamy texture and outstanding flavour, I'd be grateful, as I only get up there when I see my doc a couple of times a year... I know it's a VERY basic concept, but what the heck are they adding to it??? It's not just the creaminess, it's the colour, the taste.... I was even thinking about contacting them to ask for a recipe, but I'm already predicting what a comedy that would be, calling to ask them for the recipe. Ha!

                                          1. re: Moimoi
                                            The Chowhound Team Dec 19, 2009 11:05 AM

                                            Folks, please post any recipes over on the Home Cooking board and leave a pointer link here in this thread. Thanks!

                                        2. Full tummy Sep 11, 2009 08:51 PM

                                          I think you should try Ararat.

                                          http://www.torontolife.com/guide/food/delis-mediterranean/ararat-international-fine-foods/
                                          http://www.tasteto.com/2009/04/10/ara...

                                          1. s
                                            sman Sep 11, 2009 07:18 PM

                                            My favourite hummus that is not home made is Sunflower Kitchen classic hummus. I've bought it at Fresh & Wild, Whole Foods, the Big Carrot and other health food or organic stores. http://www.sunflowerkitchen.com/dips....

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: sman
                                              a
                                              acd123 Sep 11, 2009 08:48 PM

                                              Sunflower Kitchen is the one I buy too. It's the best prepared hummus I've found. I get mine a Fiesta Farms.

                                              1. re: acd123
                                                Paulustrious Sep 12, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                What is the ingredient list? I'm always looking for variants for my home-made stuff. I've added hot-sauce, tamarind, dried coconut, mustard, cream, peanut butter etc. Chick peas don't have that much flavour but they are a good vehicle for others. And you can make $15 of hummus for $2 in about 10 minutes. IMO it needs 24 hours for the flavours to meld.

                                                1. re: Paulustrious
                                                  ms. clicquot Sep 12, 2009 09:45 AM

                                                  Another vote here for Sunflower Kitchen. According to the label on the Roasted Garlic and Onion one, the ingredients are: chick peas, tahini, filtered water, sunflower oil, garlic, onions, citric acid and sea salt.

                                                  I get it at the IGA in the Beach which is pretty small so it should be readily available across the city.

                                                  1. re: ms. clicquot
                                                    Paulustrious Sep 12, 2009 02:57 PM

                                                    Thanks for the info Ms Cliquot.

                                                    It's mainly standard hummus stuff. For me it's missing lemon flavour. Citric acid doesn't cut it for me. I also prefer peanut or olive oil in place of sunflower. I tried making some two weeks ago replacing the salt with anchovies. Strangely enough it worked quite well. You can also add parmesan. Makes it a bit more expensive that way.

                                                    As a way of comparison costs:

                                                    2 large tins of chickpeas $2
                                                    1 cup+ of tahini $1.50 (Nasr - Tahini $4-99 for 32 oz)
                                                    Other stuff: 50c

                                                    Lets say $4 makes 3lb of hummus. You need a reasonable food processor because it has to go for 10 minutes and it's hard work for the machine.

                                                    If you use dried chickpeas you can take another dollar off the cost.

                                                    1. re: Paulustrious
                                                      atomeyes Sep 13, 2009 09:25 AM

                                                      after spending 11 days in Israel, i decided to make my own hummus. there is no way to compare store-bought hummus to what you get when you make it fresh at home. its also incredibly easy to make. the only planning i need involves getting the chickpeas in the slow cooker for 6 hours.

                                                      but obviously not everyone wants to make their own hummus. so my suggestion would be that, if buying store-bought hummus, find something that's as true to a recipe as possible.

                                                      the ingredients should be incredibly simple.
                                                      chickpeas
                                                      lemon juice
                                                      tahina/tahini
                                                      salt
                                                      pepper
                                                      oil (olive preferably, since it has a better taste)
                                                      lemon zest or zatyr
                                                      water
                                                      garlic

                                                      other than some paprika, there really isn't anything else that should go in there.

                                                      1. re: atomeyes
                                                        k
                                                        katbri Sep 15, 2009 01:43 PM

                                                        throw in some roasted red pepper....yum!

                                            2. p
                                              perogy Sep 11, 2009 06:44 PM

                                              I looooove the hummus at 7West (Charles, west of Yonge). I haven't tried hummus from a lot of other places, but that's sort of because the 7West hummus is fantastic. I don't know what it is that makes it so good either, that's the frustrating part. It' comes as a platter (with delicious, warm pita, and some veg).

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: perogy
                                                e
                                                excel Sep 11, 2009 06:48 PM

                                                so there's no way to just get a tub/container of it?

                                                1. re: excel
                                                  p
                                                  perogy Sep 11, 2009 07:08 PM

                                                  I've never even asked! The people there are quite nice, so I do wonder if they'd do it that way. I'll have to find out next time I am there.

                                                  1. re: perogy
                                                    i
                                                    ilivevicariouslythroughnigella Sep 14, 2009 01:31 PM

                                                    Perogy you took the words right out of my mouth! 7 West's hummus is amazing! Not quite sure what they put in there to make it so addictive, but whatever it is it's delicious. I can't get enough of this stuff!

                                                    1. re: ilivevicariouslythroughnigella
                                                      meld_la Sep 15, 2009 05:39 PM

                                                      I'm the same. Their hummus is amazing. I haven't ever asked, but I bet it's something really bad for you (extra oil or some such thing...) b/c that always seems to be the case when something's extra delish.

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