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The Other Hummus


by Philippine Farrow



Food and travel go hand in hand, as sampling local cuisine is undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of exploring new destinations. And when it comes to food, few dishes offer the perfect combination of flavor, versatility, and cultural significance quite like hummus. This creamy, delectable spread has been a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, and its appeal has spread throughout the world.


But while traditional hummus, made with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice, will always hold a special place in our hearts (and stomachs), there is a whole world of alternative hummus varieties waiting to be discovered. From unique flavors like roasted red pepper and sun-dried tomato to unconventional ingredients like black beans and edamame, these innovative twists on the classic spread are taking the culinary world by storm.


In this article, we will delve into the world of alternative hummus, exploring the different flavors and ingredients that are redefining this beloved dish. We will also discuss the health benefits of these alternative options and highlight the culinary versatility they bring to the table. So prepare your taste buds for a delightful journey as we uncover the secrets of the “other hummus.”


What is Hummus?

Hummus is a classic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean staple that has gained international recognition and popularity. Traditionally, hummus is made from a simple blend of cooked chickpeas, tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice. These ingredients are combined to create a creamy and smooth spread that is typically served as a dip with pita bread or used as a condiment to compliment various dishes.


The origins of hummus can be traced back to ancient times, with records suggesting that it was first enjoyed in Egypt over 7,000 years ago. Since then, it has become a beloved dish in countries like Lebanon, Israel, Syria, and Greece, and has spread its delicious influence across the globe.


What makes hummus particularly special is its versatility. While the traditional recipe remains a favorite, people have found endless ways to put their own creative spin on this beloved dish. From adding roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes for a burst of flavor to incorporating unique ingredients like black beans or edamame, alternative hummus varieties offer a whole new world of taste sensations.


Furthermore, hummus serves as a blank canvas for culinary experimentation, making it an ideal vehicle for incorporating different herbs, spices, and even toppings. Whether you prefer a hint of cumin, a sprinkle of za’atar, or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, you can easily customize hummus to suit your palate.


Not only is hummus delicious, but it also offers several nutritional benefits. Chickpeas, the primary ingredient in hummus, are rich in protein, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, tahini provides a good source of healthy fats and calcium.


With its rich history, diverse flavor profiles, and nutritional value, it’s no wonder that hummus has become a beloved and versatile dish enjoyed by people around the world. Now, let’s dive into the exciting world of alternative hummus varieties, where new and delightful flavors await!


Traditional Hummus Recipe

The traditional hummus recipe is a timeless classic that has been enjoyed for generations. It’s simple to make and requires just a few key ingredients. Here is a basic recipe that will allow you to recreate the authentic flavors of this beloved Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dish:

  1. Start by soaking dried chickpeas in water overnight. This will help soften them and reduce cooking time. Alternatively, you can use canned chickpeas for convenience.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then transfer them to a saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil and cook until the chickpeas are tender, usually around 1 to 2 hours. Alternatively, if using canned chickpeas, skip this step.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine the cooked chickpeas, tahini, garlic cloves, lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add a splash of water if needed to achieve the desired consistency.
  4. Taste the hummus and season with salt and pepper to your liking. You can also add additional spices like cumin or paprika for extra flavor.
  5. Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with a swirl of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika or chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro.

Serve the traditional hummus with warm pita bread, fresh vegetables, or as a spread on sandwiches and wraps. Its creamy texture and tangy flavor make it a versatile and delightful addition to any meal or snack time.


While the traditional hummus recipe is undoubtedly delicious, it’s exciting to explore alternative flavors and ingredients to create new and inventive variations of this beloved dish. Let’s embark on a culinary adventure and discover the world of “other hummus!”


The Rise of Alternative Hummus Varieties

Over the years, the culinary world has witnessed a remarkable surge in the popularity of alternative hummus varieties. While traditional hummus holds a special place in our hearts, these innovative twists on the classic spread have captured the attention of food enthusiasts, sparking a revolution in hummus flavors and ingredients.


One factor contributing to the rise of alternative hummus varieties is the increasing demand for unique and diverse flavors. People are becoming more adventurous in their culinary explorations and seeking out new taste experiences. Roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, caramelized onion, and jalapeno-infused hummus are just a few examples of the exciting flavors that have emerged.


Moreover, alternative hummus varieties often incorporate unconventional ingredients, creating a fusion of flavors and textures. Black bean hummus, for instance, introduces a rich and earthy element, while edamame hummus brings a vibrant and fresh twist. These non-traditional ingredients offer a refreshing departure from the usual chickpea base, pushing the boundaries of what hummus can be.


Another key factor driving the popularity of alternative hummus varieties is their appeal to various dietary preferences and restrictions. With the rise of plant-based diets, many people are seeking vegan and gluten-free options that still deliver exceptional taste and nutritional value. Alternative hummus varieties often cater to these needs, providing a delicious and inclusive option for individuals with specific dietary requirements.


It’s not just the flavor and ingredients that are evolving; the packaging and presentation of alternative hummus varieties have also undergone a transformation. Manufacturers are exploring creative packaging designs, making hummus more visually appealing and convenient for on-the-go consumption. Single-serve cups, snack-sized portions, and squeezable tubes are some of the innovative packaging options available.


The rise of alternative hummus varieties signifies a shift towards embracing diversity and innovation in our culinary preferences. It encourages us to step outside our comfort zones and experience new flavors and textures. Whether you’re a hummus enthusiast looking to try something different or someone seeking plant-based alternatives, the world of alternative hummus offers a delightful range of options to tantalize your taste buds.


In the next section, we will delve deeper into the exciting world of alternative hummus, exploring the various non-traditional flavors and ingredients that are redefining this beloved dish.


The Other Hummus: Exploring Non-Traditional Flavors and Ingredients

While traditional hummus will always have its special place, there is a whole world of alternative hummus varieties waiting to be discovered. These non-traditional flavors and ingredients are revolutionizing the hummus scene, offering a diverse and exciting range of options for food enthusiasts.


One of the reasons alternative hummus varieties have gained popularity is their ability to elevate familiar flavors to new heights. Take roasted red pepper hummus, for example. The smoky and slightly sweet notes of roasted red peppers add a delightful twist to the traditional hummus recipe. This flavorful variation pairs well with grilled vegetables or as a spread for sandwiches and wraps.


Another popular alternative hummus flavor is sun-dried tomato. The intense tanginess of sun-dried tomatoes creates a burst of flavor, complementing the creaminess of the chickpeas and tahini. This option adds a vibrant and zesty twist to traditional hummus, making it a perfect accompaniment to crudites or a flavorful base for pasta dishes.


For those looking for a bolder kick, jalapeno-infused hummus offers a spicy twist. The heat of the jalapenos adds a fiery flavor that pairs well with dishes like tacos, quesadillas, or even as a dip for nachos. This alternative hummus variety is for those who enjoy a bit of heat and crave a little extra excitement.


In addition to exploring different flavors, alternative hummus varieties also introduce alternative ingredients. Black bean hummus, for instance, offers a unique twist on the traditional chickpea base. The smooth and creamy texture of black beans adds a rich earthiness to the hummus, creating a unique flavor profile. This variation is perfect for Mexican-inspired dishes or as a dip for tortilla chips.


Edamame hummus is another alternative variety that brings a fresh and vibrant twist. Made with young soybeans, edamame hummus offers a unique flavor and packs a nutritional punch. It adds a light and crisp element to the hummus, making it a refreshing and healthy choice. Enjoy it as a spread on rice cakes, as a dip for vegetable crudités, or as a topping for Buddha bowls.


These alternative hummus varieties showcase the culinary creativity and innovation that can be achieved with just a few simple adjustments. By exploring different flavors and ingredients, we open ourselves up to a world of new experiences and tastes. Whether it’s a smoky roasted red pepper hummus or a zesty sun-dried tomato variation, alternative hummus offers a delightful way to break away from the traditional and embrace new flavors.


In the next section, we will dive into the health benefits of these alternative hummus options, highlighting how they can contribute to a well-rounded and nutritious diet.


The Health Benefits of Alternative Hummus Options

Alternative hummus varieties not only provide a wide range of exciting flavors and textures but also offer several health benefits. These options, made with alternative ingredients, can contribute to a well-rounded and nutritious diet. Let’s explore the health benefits of alternative hummus:


1. Nutritional Powerhouse: Alternative hummus varieties, like traditional hummus, are typically made with nutrient-rich ingredients. Chickpeas, the base of most hummus recipes, are an excellent source of plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. They provide sustained energy, promote satiety, and support digestive health.


2. Healthy Fats: Many alternative hummus options incorporate ingredients like olive oil, avocado, or nut butters, which contribute to healthy fat content. These fats are essential for heart health, brain function, and nutrient absorption. They also provide a feeling of fullness and satiety, helping to curb cravings and manage weight.


3. Plant-Based and Vegan-Friendly: Alternative hummus varieties are often made without animal products, making them suitable for those following a plant-based or vegan diet. They offer a delicious and nutritious alternative to animal-based spreads or condiments.


4. Gluten-Free Options: For individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, alternative hummus varieties that use gluten-free ingredients are a great option. They provide a safe and satisfying alternative to traditional spreads that may contain gluten.


5. Antioxidant Boost: Some alternative hummus flavors, such as roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomato, contain high levels of antioxidants. These compounds help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of chronic diseases and promoting overall health and well-being.


6. Versatile Veggie Boost: Alternative hummus varieties that incorporate vegetables like roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or edamame offer an easy and delicious way to increase your veggie intake. These hummus options can be enjoyed as a dip, spread, or sauce, making it easier to incorporate more vegetables into your meals.


It’s important to note that while alternative hummus varieties offer these health benefits, the overall nutritional content may vary depending on specific ingredients and preparation methods. Be mindful of portion sizes and consider the complete nutritional profile of your hummus selection.


Incorporating alternative hummus options into your diet can help diversify your nutrient intake and add excitement to your meals. Whether you opt for a protein-packed black bean hummus or a refreshing edamame variety, alternative hummus offers a nutritious and delicious way to nourish your body.


In the next section, we will explore the culinary versatility of alternative hummus and how it can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes.


The Culinary Versatility of Alternative Hummus

One of the remarkable aspects of alternative hummus varieties is their culinary versatility. These non-traditional flavors and ingredients open the doors to an array of creative and delicious dishes. Let’s explore how alternative hummus can be enjoyed in various ways:


1. Dips and Spreads: Alternative hummus makes for a fantastic dip or spread. It can be served with an assortment of fresh vegetables, such as carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or bell pepper strips, for a healthy and satisfying snack. It also pairs well with crackers, pita bread, or tortilla chips for a delightful party or game-day treat.


2. Sandwiches and Wraps: Spread alternative hummus on your favorite bread or wrap to add a creamy and flavorful element to your sandwiches or wraps. It works beautifully with grilled vegetables, roasted chicken, or even as a vegan substitute for mayo or mustard.


3. Salad Dressings: Turn your ordinary salad into a vibrant and delicious meal by using alternative hummus as a base for dressings. Incorporate flavors like roasted red pepper or sun-dried tomato hummus into your homemade dressings for an added burst of taste and creaminess.


4. Pasta Sauces: Get creative in the kitchen by using alternative hummus as a pasta sauce. Its velvety texture and unique flavors can bring a new dimension to your favorite pasta dishes. Try mixing edamame hummus with cooked pasta and fresh vegetables for a quick and nutritious meal.


5. Toppings and Garnishes: Spruce up your dishes by using alternative hummus as a flavorful topping or garnish. Add dollops of jalapeno-infused hummus to enhance the heat in tacos or burgers. Drizzle roasted red pepper hummus over roasted vegetables or use it as a base for pizza. The possibilities are endless.


6. Snacks and Appetizers: Create delectable and appealing snacks or appetizers with alternative hummus as the star ingredient. Stuff cherry tomatoes or mini bell peppers with hummus for bite-sized treats. Use it as a filling for stuffed mushrooms or as a base for bruschetta toppings. The versatility of alternative hummus shines through in these delightful bites.


The culinary versatility of alternative hummus unlocks a world of possibilities in the kitchen. Its smooth texture, rich flavors, and nutritious profile can elevate various dishes and add a creative flair to your meals. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to discover your favorite ways to enjoy alternative hummus.


In the next section, we will explore the future of hummus and how the embrace of diversity and innovation continues to shape this beloved dish.


The Future of Hummus: Embracing Diversity and Innovation

Hummus has come a long way from its humble origins and traditional recipe. As alternative hummus varieties continue to gain popularity, the future of this beloved dish is undoubtedly bright, embracing the values of diversity and innovation.


The growing demand for unique flavors and culinary experiences will drive the development of even more alternative hummus options. Chefs and food enthusiasts will continue to experiment with different ingredients, spices, and flavors, pushing the boundaries of what hummus can be. This ongoing exploration and creativity will lead to the discovery of exciting new combinations and unexpected taste sensations.


Additionally, as our understanding of nutrition expands, alternative hummus varieties will likely incorporate more functional ingredients. From superfoods like turmeric and matcha to adaptogens like ashwagandha and maca, the future of hummus will see the fusion of taste and health benefits, appealing to those seeking both nourishment and pleasure in their food.


Embracing diversity will play a significant role in shaping the future of hummus. As more cultures and cuisines influence the culinary landscape, we can expect to see alternative hummus varieties that draw inspiration from different corners of the world. From Mexican-inspired hummus with a hint of lime and cilantro to Indian-inspired hummus with aromatic spices, the possibilities for cross-cultural fusion are endless.


Furthermore, alternative hummus manufacturers will continue to innovate in terms of packaging and convenience. Single-serve packaging options, portion-controlled containers, and sustainable packaging materials are just some of the developments we can look forward to in the future. These advancements will make hummus more accessible and convenient for individuals on-the-go, while also prioritizing environmental sustainability.


With the rise of conscious consumerism, the future of hummus will also likely see a focus on ethically sourced and locally produced ingredients. Supporting sustainable farming practices and fair-trade initiatives will become integral to the hummus industry, ensuring that consumers can enjoy their favorite alternative hummus varieties while making positive impacts on both people and the planet.


In summary, the future of hummus is bright and promising. By embracing diversity and innovation, alternative hummus varieties will continue to capture our taste buds and imaginations. Whether it’s through the fusion of flavors, the incorporation of functional ingredients, or the emphasis on sustainable practices, hummus will remain a beloved and versatile dish that reflects the ever-evolving tastes and values of the world around us.


As we eagerly anticipate what lies ahead, let’s celebrate the journey of hummus thus far and continue to savor the delightful and diverse flavors it has to offer.



Hummus, the creamy and versatile spread originating from the Middle East and Mediterranean, has captured the hearts and taste buds of food enthusiasts worldwide. While the traditional recipe remains beloved, alternative hummus varieties have emerged, offering a plethora of exciting flavors and ingredients.


Through the exploration of non-traditional flavors like roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, and jalapeno, we have discovered a whole world of taste sensations. These alternative hummus options bring a new level of excitement and creativity to our culinary experiences.


Not only do alternative hummus varieties offer an explosion of flavors, but they also bring a host of health benefits. Made with nutrient-rich ingredients like chickpeas, olive oil, and alternative sources of protein, they contribute to a well-rounded and nutritious diet.


The culinary versatility of alternative hummus knows no bounds. From dips and spreads to salad dressings and pasta sauces, alternative hummus can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, adding depth, creaminess, and unique flavors.


Looking ahead, the future of hummus is filled with diversity and innovation. With a focus on cross-cultural fusion, functional ingredients, sustainable practices, and convenient packaging, alternative hummus will continue to evolve and capture our imaginations.


As we embark on this flavorful journey, let us celebrate the rich history, diverse flavors, and healthful qualities of hummus. Whether enjoying the traditional recipe or exploring alternative varieties, let hummus be a reminder of the beauty and joy that food and travel bring to our lives.


So, let’s embrace the “other hummus” and savor the endless possibilities it offers. Whether it’s a zesty sun-dried tomato spread, a rich black bean dip, or a tangy jalapeno-infused hummus, let the exploration of alternative hummus ignite our taste buds and inspire us to continue seeking new and delightful culinary experiences.