Chips and dips are always a great idea, especially when they are healthy and flavorful. Hummus falls right into that category. But are you new to hummus and wondering what it tastes like? With a variety of variations to choose from, hummus is a heart-winner all the way. So, let me tell you all about hummus, its taste and texture.
Hummus is a popular Mediterranean dip that has turned our appetizers into an easy and mind-blowing preparation. It has a tangy, garlicky, and savory taste that’s full of umami flavor. Apart from its health benefits, hummus is also a gluten-free and dairy-free delicacy that you can devour on its own, with wedges, tortilla chips, crackers, or vegetable sticks.
If you love sandwiches or wraps, you can take them to another level using hummus as a condiment. According to historical records, hummus originated in the 13th century in ancient Egypt. It is an Arabic word meaning chickpea. Hummus has gained so much popularity over the years that it is now being made all over the world for its delectable taste and nutritional value.
So, now that you have an idea of what hummus is, without much ado, let’s find out more about its taste and varieties.
What Is Hummus?
For those who do not know what hummus is, it’s one of the best and oldest known Middle Eastern foods. This smooth and creamy paste is made using cooked chickpeas, tahini sesame paste, lemon juice, garlic, spices, and olive oil.
While Egypt is known to be the birthplace of hummus, many variations in the basic recipe are now found in different countries. This is because of the robust spice trade, the ease of its making, and inexpensive ingredients having a long shelf life that this high-protein dip spread around the world. Today, there are many ways to make and flavor hummus.
What Does Hummus Taste Like?
At the first look, classic hummus lends a smooth and creamy texture. It is a savory deliciousness that tastes tangy, garlicky, and has a full umami flavor.
The main flavor of hummus comes from chickpeas. It is rounded out with tahini paste, citrusy lemon juice, and raw garlic. The taste of hummus is long-lasting. However, the taste of hummus also depends on the vast variety of new flavorings that are made today.
Traditionally, hummus is served on a plate, drizzled with olive oil and herbs. It is usually accompanied by fresh pita, tomato, onion, cucumber salad, lavash, and falafels.
Fun Fact: Hummus has broken records. In May 2010, the largest dish of hummus ever prepared was weighed at approximately 23,000 lbs in the Guinness World Record. It was made in the al-Fanar village in Lebanon by 300 cooks. The ingredients included eight tons of chickpeas, two tons of tahini, two tons of lemon juice, and 155 pounds of olive oil.
Is Hummus Sweet or Sour?
Hummus is a rich creamy paste having an umami flavor. Its unique flavor is hard to compare with any other dish. To describe the taste of hummus, we would call it a sweet and savory dip. When you take a bite of hummus, you will first experience its lusciously creamy texture and then come to its taste notes.
Hummus has a sweet and nutty taste, and it derives a mild tartness from the lemon juice used in it. However, hummus doesn’t taste sour. Hummus that smells or tastes sour has gone bad. It has likely reached its shelf life or has not been stored properly.
As for the sweetness, hummus may taste subtly sweet depending on the chickpeas or beans being used.
Does Hummus Taste Like Chickpeas?
Although it’s normal to assume the taste of hummus to be that of chickpeas, it is not so. Hummus tastes less like just chickpeas as its making includes other ingredients that give it its distinct taste profile. So, if you are not a fan of chickpeas and still want to try out this wholesome dip, it’s safe to say you will be happily surprised with its not-so-chickpea flavors.
Additionally, flavored hummus may taste different altogether in comparison to regular hummus because of the particular flavors added to it.
Does Hummus Taste Like Cheese?
While hummus has nothing to do with cheese, the dip has a melt-in-your-mouth consistency that tastes rich and garlicky. But some hummus comes with added nutritional yeast for a nutrient boost that can give it a “cheesy” flavor. Furthermore, the texture of hummus resembles that of mayonnaise and other creamy spreads.
Why Does My Hummus Taste Sour?
The beauty of hummus is its simple yet delectable taste that’s like none other. Hummus can elevate just about anything and leave you asking for more. But if you have noticed some sourness in your hummus, it’s important to address the issue as it could have some implications.
The classic hummus comes with a rich umami flavor and a sweet and savory taste profile. However, if you find it sour, it could be due to the following reasons.
- Overcomplicating the recipe – If you are using homemade hummus and find it sour in taste, chances are you have experimented with some additional spices or seasonings that are releasing their sour taste. Or, you may have decided to create a flavorful hummus by adding some sour-tasting veggies like beetroot and pickled jalapenos.
- Extra Dose Of Lemon Juice– While the classic hummus recipe calls for lemon juice as a key ingredient, chances are you have accidentally poured in some extra lemon juice. This can lead to a sour-tasting hummus.
- Canned Lemon Juice – In comparison to fresh lemon juice, canned lemon juice often leaves a strong aftertaste. Hence, if you have used a store-bought bottle of lemon juice, it can turn the taste of your hummus sour.
- Shelf Life– Lastly, if none of the factors mentioned above are the reasons for your hummus to turn sour, then it’s a clear indication that it has gone bad due to expiration or wrong storage. Avoid using such hummus as it could lead to food poisoning.
What Does Beet Hummus Taste Like?
Taking a complete twist in its look, the beetroot hummus comes in a bright flavor and color. You get the sweetness and earthy flavor from the beets, and the sourness from tangy lemon, garlic, and warm spices.
If you are looking for a good-looking flavorful dip, then beetroot hummus will come to your rescue. It is also the healthiest dip which you can make as it has all the nutritional content of chickpeas combined with that of beets!
What Does Chocolate Hummus Taste Like?
Hummus, with its exceptional health benefits, has not only had a savory makeover but has also made its way into desserts. It’s a definite case of unlikely pairings working out. Hence, you should not be surprised if you come across chocolate, vanilla, brownie, choco-mint, or more hummus flavors at your grocery store.
Chocolate hummus- a sweet version of the classic chickpea dip that has a Nutella-like flavor. It is such a perfect blend of chickpeas with cocoa that you probably won’t even realize it’s hummus.
Dessert hummus first became mainstream when Makenzie Marzluff, founder of Delighted By, appeared on an episode of Shark Tank and wowed everyone with her healthy and vegan sweet treat.
How To Make Delicious Hummus?
After such a good read, now it’s time for you to know how to make hummus. Follow the steps below to this creamy deliciousness.
- 1 can chickpeas or 1 ½ cups (250 grams) cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) well-stirred tahini,
- 1 small minced garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil,
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) water
- Dash ground paprika or sumac, for serving
- In a food processor, combine the tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute and scrape the sides and process once again for 30 seconds more.
- Add the olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice.
- Process for 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Open, drain, and rinse the canned or cooked chickpeas.
- Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor and process for 1 minute.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the remaining chickpeas and process until smooth.
- Most likely the hummus will be thick or still have tiny bits of chickpea. To fix this, slowly add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency.
- Taste salt and adjust as needed.
- Serve hummus with a drizzle of olive oil and dash of paprika.
- Store the hummus in an airtight container.
Secret For Making The Best Hummus: The secret to a lavishly smooth hummus depends on the order in which you add ingredients to your food processor. It’s best to process tahini and lemon juice first and then add the remaining ingredients.
Tips To Make Your Hummus More Delicious
Every recipe comes with certain steps that take the taste and overall appeal of the food item a notch higher. And just like that, there are some pointers to note while preparing hummus to take your ordinary hummus into a dip worth a million dollars. Let’s take a look!
1. Dips always taste best when they have a smooth and creamy texture. Hence, to achieve a creamy consistency, whether you opt for canned or dried chickpeas, it’s best to cook them before blending in with other ingredients.
2. Another point to keep in mind while aiming for a creamy consistency is to peel the chickpeas coverings. Often, when chickpeas are cooked, their outer layer detaches itself from the pea. It’s best to remove those peels to avoid flakey bites.
3. If you are looking at achieving a lighter consistency of your hummus. It’s important to keep the order of ingredients blended in mind. Before you add chickpeas to the food processor, make sure you first process tahini, lemon, and garlic to create a creamier and lighter hummus.
4. Are you in a hurry to make hummus but wondering about skipping it just because you haven’t soaked your chickpeas yet? Well, we have an easy hack to solve this problem. Add a pinch of baking soda while soaking your chickpeas in water to cut down on time. Baking soda helps to soften chickpeas a lot faster.
What To Eat With Hummus? | 7 Best Hummus Pairings
For me, hummus is a no-brainer dish for any party. It’s delicious, fuss-free, healthy, and an easy to impress condiment. The idea of pita bread comes circling around instantly when we think of hummus. But behold, my friends, there’s much more you can do with the humble hummus. that goes perfectly in harmony with a wide variety of food items.
- Sandwich Spread- Hummus never disappoints. Its creamy consistency and flavorful taste profile level up any sandwich, toast, or bread to greater heights.
- Deviled Eggs- Eggs are great for health, but deviled eggs with mayonnaise as its filling isn’t. So, try swapping mayonnaise for hummus that makes the perfect match with egg.
- Veggies- Raw veggies make a wonderful snack to dip into hummus. Chop up your favorite veggies like radish, carrot, beetroot, peppers, cucumbers, and more for a delectable healthy snack.
- Falafel- For those who don’t know, falafel and hummus are made of the same ingredient that is chickpea. So, it only makes sense that the two make a wonderful combination.
- Salad Dressings- Skip those oily dressings for a healthy one. Make your salads stand out by using hummus in your salads next time.
- Swap It With Cream Sauce- Planning to make alfredo pasta tonight? Try hummus instead of your regular white sauce by thinning it out according to your desired consistency.
- Crackers and Pretzels- Another combo to look out for is crackers and pretzels dipped in hummus.
How To Store Hummus For Best Taste
The freshness of hummus depends on various factors. These include the temperature, storage methods, and its ingredients. Let’s take a look at the best ways to store hummus.
- At Room Temperature: Bacteria grow better in moist environments and hummus tends to spoil pretty quickly after being opened at room temperature. Hence, it’s ideal not to leave open hummus out for more than 4 hours.
- In The Fridge: Refrigeration of any food item is the best way to preserve it and hummus is not an exception. While homemade hummus can stay well in the fridge somewhere between 3-5 days, store-bought hummus can be used for up to 10 days.
- Freezer: You can also freeze your hummus for up to 2-3 months for later use. However, it’s always best to use a fresh batch of hummus to derive its optimum taste and enjoy its creamy texture.
In addition to the above storage caution, hummus should always be stored in an airtight container. It’s also recommended to pour a thin layer of olive oil over hummus to preserve its moisture.
Things You Should Look For While Buying Hummus
There are times when you might be too tired to make hummus. That’s when store-bought hummus comes to the rescue. But among the wide varieties available in the market, what should you look for while buying hummus?
1. Ingredients- Always take a look at the ingredient list to check for oils, preservatives, and additives added to hummus. That will also help you determine the taste of hummus.
2. Flavoring- Hummus comes in many sweet and savory flavors. Thus, while buying a store-bought pack of hummus, take a good look at the flavoring agents.
3. Oils- A pure hummus bottle will mention the use of olive oil in its ingredients. However, commercial varieties of hummus also use soybean and canola oil in it. This can result in a difference in the taste profile of hummus. So, to purchase authentic hummus flavors, look for the one with olive oil as its ingredient.
4. Packaging Date- To savor all of its delectable taste, it’s best to consume the freshest batch of hummus. Hence, when buying hummus, always check the date of packing and expiration to derive its optimum flavor.
How To Check The Freshness Of Hummus?
Hummus and its varieties are incredible in taste. However, like any other food item, hummus also comes with a shelf life. Hence, it is important to make sure that before you dig into that luscious dip, it’s still fresh. Below are the factors to be kept in mind while checking for the freshness of hummus.
1. Hummus Is Best Used By Date
If you are buying commercially packed hummus boxes, you will notice the expiration date on their labels. It is best to consume hummus before or on that day for its best quality when opened.
2. Sour Smell and Taste
Another indicator to test for hummus’ freshness is by smell and taste. If you open your container of hummus and notice a sour and odd smell, then it is safe to say that your condiment has gone bad. And this smell is easy to detect as hummus doesn’t have much of a fragrance.
A third instant indicator for any food item is the detection of molds and changes in color. Mold forms are in different colors and none of them are good for you. This typically happens if the hummus is not stored correctly or has gone well beyond the expiry date.
Apart from molds, your hummus could just turn darker in color or you might notice a mix of colors. This is also a sign of hummus gone bad.
Nutritional Content of Hummus
Hummus is a fiber-rich food that’s high in plant-based protein and essential minerals. It contains key vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, vitamin B, zinc, and folate.
With all those nutrients, hummus provides many health benefits such as gut health, stronger bones, helps lower cholesterol, can help alleviate anemia, and balances blood sugar. Let’s take a look at the percentage of nutrients in the table below:
|Nutrients||Amount per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving of hummus|
|Manganese||39% of the RDI|
|Copper||26% of the RDI|
|Phosphorus||18% of the RDI|
|Iron||14% of the RDI|
|Zinc||12% of the RDI|
|Thiamin||12% of the RDI|
|Vitamin B6||10% of the RDI|
|Potassium||7% of the RDI|
|Folate||21% of the RDI|
|Magnesium||18% of the RDI|
|Folate||21% of the RDI|
With all of the above hummus varieties, it’s safe to say hummus has endless variables that make for a healthy and flavorful condiment. Depending on your liking and the ingredients available at hand, you can whip up a great variation using the classic hummus recipe or swapping chickpeas with beans.
Having gone through so many mouth-watering options out there, I suggest you try out as many variables as you can to delight your guests. Also, do let me know in the comments below if you have another stunning hummus recipe waiting to be devoured.
Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ)
Is eating hummus good for you?
Hummus has a variety of impressive health benefits that make it a good food item to add to your routine.
Are hummus and chickpeas the same?
No, chickpeas and hummus are not the same. Chickpeas are the base for hummus.
What vegetables taste good with hummus?
Hummus is such a versatile dip that you can pair it with any vegetable of your choice.
How many flavors does hummus come in?
While classic hummus is the authentic flavor of hummus, today a wide variety of flavors are available as mentioned above in the article.
What spices can I add to plain hummus?
You can add cumin, cayenne, paprika, zaatar, sumac or dukaah to plain hummus.