Food, Lifestyle

Chronicles of a Picky Eater: Hummus

Have you ever met someone who has never eaten hummus? Growing up with hummus packed as a snack in my school lunch most days, I thought this was a food everyone has eaten at least once. That was until I met Ed. If you’re new, Ed is a close friend of mine and a widely-known picky eater, whose palette I’m helping expand. To my utter surprise, Ed had never once eaten hummus in any form or food combination.

Haley Alvarez-Lauto | Graphic Artist

It’s okay, you can gasp — I did too. 

Hummus is always a healthy staple in my diet. Whether it’s paired with red peppers, pita chips or naan bread, you can catch me eating roasted red pepper hummus at least once a week. At home, we always have a tub of it handy for snacking. It’s one of those foods we buy another container every time we’re at the grocery store — even if we have an unopened one at home. Not to worry, though, as we always finish them. 

Unfortunately for Ed, rather than trying the most common hummus flavors, I bought a few obscure flavors. He was less than thrilled when I unveiled balsamic caramelized onion hummus, everything hummus and spinach hummus.  

If you cringed reading those flavors, you are not alone. Not only did Ed cringe, but I could see him desperately trying to devise a way out of this tasting. Unfortunately for him, he made it through all three flavors, with some surprising reactions. 

He decided to start with the everything flavor, as he’s a huge fan of everything bagels and believed this one would be the most tolerable. When his initial sniff test yielded no adverse reaction, he dug into the bag of bagel chips. His only comment beforehand was that the hummus smelled exactly like everything bagels, which made him slightly less apprehensive. Personally, I was nervous about his reaction to the texture — he is extremely picky about them. Since hummus has a very unique texture, I half expected him to spit the bite into a napkin. 

As he chewed the first bite, his facial expression was completely neutral, showing no signs of a reaction. My apprehension only faded when he successfully chewed and swallowed the first bite, with the comment “not bad.” I’ll take it. 

He went on to say that it was cold, which he thought was “weird.” That one got a laugh out of me, solely for the randomness of the remark. As I expected, he didn’t like the texture, but the bagel chip did a good job of canceling that out. His most positive feedback was that it had a very accurate everything bagel seasoning — which I can confirm after tasting it myself. His final rating was “a strong six, light seven.” Not too shabby. 

Next up was the balsamic caramelized onion hummus, which even I was dreading tasting. Initially he noticed how strong of a balsamic glaze scent it had, which made him cringe. After taking a bite, I was surprised to hear another “not bad” comment from Ed. 

He noted that the flavor wasn’t very strong and only tasted a bit of a caramelized flavor and balsamic. Again, he really disliked the texture, but might eat it at an event, only if there wasn’t the everything flavor (fair). I found this flavor off-putting because I don’t think balsamic belongs in hummus. His final comment was, “that one I kind of like” with a 6/10 rating. 

The final flavor we tried was Spinach, and while Ed was dreading this one the most, I was actually pretty excited. I’ve never had a bad experience with a spinach dip, so I expected to like this one. Ed on the other hand, took one sniff and was immediately repulsed. 

To be fair, the scent also caught me off guard, as it was not distinguishable. Before digging in, he gave himself some verbal affirmations to “stay strong” and push through the mental block. After the bite, he began shaking his head, repeating, “I didn’t like that one.” 

It was slightly better than he expected, while I enjoyed it just as much as expected. The hummus was definitely another spinach dip that I will now recommend. I applaud Ed for getting through two bites, even though his final rating was a 3/10. 

Out of all the hummus flavors, the only one he might willingly eat again was the everything flavor. Even then, he wouldn’t go out and buy it himself. Overall, the flavors were accurate to their descriptions. So if they sound good to you, try them out for yourself. 

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