Monday, March 10, 2014

Cava Mezze Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Have you ever wondered how hummus became popular with a cult following in the last few years? It seems it is on every menu, a staple party food, and coveted work snack. In fact, there is even this Buzzfeed article explaining hummus obsessions, and I relate to many of the claims.

Pureed chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and a healthy dose of tahini paste are the building blocks of hummus. But the opportunities for the spread creations are endless. Cilantro, roasted garlic, and jalapeno are the tip of the hummus-ingredient-choices iceberg.

Similar to most people, I, too, have a slight obsession with hummus. There is something about the creamy and satisfying texture that I love. It is satiating without feeling heavy, velvety without using dairy, and zesty without using synthetic flavorings. Although, I do recommend reading ingredient labels because some generic hummus brands sneak in soybean oil, those cheats!

Cava Mezze brand does not use soybean oil in its hummus, and it is delicious. How does the roasted red pepper hummus perform in the Sans Soy test? Let's see.

Quality: In case the bright orange color did not alert you, the thick texture and garlic aroma make an authoritative stance to show this hummus means business! Tiny, crimson specks of roasted red pepper swirl around the dip. Moister than competitor's hummus, the spread is dexterous, and does not fall off carrot sticks or slip out of a makeshift tortilla.

Taste: As a result of the roasting procedure, the red peppers create a delightful sweet undertone. This perfectly complements the fiery garlic presence. As the main ingredient in hummus is a garbanzo bean, hummus may have a tendency to have an earthy undertone. Yet, this hummus is vibrant.

Price: One 8-ounce tub of hummus costs $3.99 at my local Whole Foods Market.

Overall grade: B+. This is a great hummus, and I enjoyed dipping, smearing and sandwiching it between bread. Although I liked the sweet, roasted red pepper flavor, the intensity of the flavor could be a bit much after awhile. Bonus points are given because Cava Mezze has local restaurants in the D.C., area, and are always wonderful to grab some nibbles, a glass of wine and catch up with friends.

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