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Muhammara from Juju's Mediterranean Kitchen - Napa, CA

josquared Apr 21, 2011 09:07 PM

me research about somewhere to eat in Napa after my recent doctor's appointment. I had other places in mind to have an actual lunch, but didn't feel in the end hungry enough to spend a decent wad of cash at a place like Grace's Table (though that is on my short list of places to get to one day) plus I had some food at home that I needed to cook up before it spoiled.

Thus, I made the visit here, just because I wanted to pick up some of their homemade muhammara, which is a red pepper dip I first had while in Syria nearly three years back. The version I had in Aleppo was a knockout, with an intense (not hot necessarily) spiciness that I really enjoyed. Back in the states, I've had Haig's version that they have in tubs in Whole Foods, but that didn't quite do the trick for me.

It looked like I might have been the first person in for the day when I asked the lady (I believe it was the owner) for a half-pint ($5.99). When I mentioned I had had it for the first time in Syria, her eyes lit up - apparently she had originally come to this country from Damascus, and we talked just a tiny bit about my experiences in Syria and the turmoil going on politically now.

I wanted to give this one a shot right away in my car with the help of the bag of pita chips I added to the order. The dip was thick and somewhat chunky in consistency and had a nice savory scent to it. It had only just a hint of a spicy kick at the beginning (the Aleppo versions kept that kick throughout), but it settled into a nice savory mix with hints of sweetness from the pomegranate, molasses and the like.

They also have homemade hummus and other things on the menu I'd like to try, but I'd easily stop by here simply to pick up some of the muhammara on a regular basis.

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Juju's
3375 Old California Way, Napa, CA 94558

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