Every day I swear I'm not going to click on Facebook's self-generated "On This Day" montage, and, every day, I find myself scrolling through a decade's worth of posts that include "The Time I Was Deeply into Desperate Housewives" and "The Time I Was Deeply into Crossfit," and those 10 or 15 minutes when I wouldn't shut up about Whole30. (There was admittedly some overlap between those last two.)
But every time I click on that part of the sidebar, I realize that the only real constants in my life have been mild social anxiety, the entire David Bowie back catalog, and an almost unnatural love for hummus. I have typed out more references to hummus than anyone ever should, dating back to when every status update had to finish the sentence that started with "[Your Name] is ... " (Yesterday's memory was "Jelisa Castrodale is frustrated with the hummus section at Harris Teeter." This is clearly why the internet was invented.)
Now, I think that my affinity for smashed-up chickpeas has been leading to this moment, when I was called upon to determine the best flavors of Sabra hummus. The brand currently offers a dozen different varieties of hummus, along with an additional three organic versions. For this taste test, I stuck with the conventional versions, purely because its organic offerings duplicate three of those same versions. Regardless of the flavor, each one is kosher, non-GMO, gluten-free, and either vegan or vegetarian. (If you're full-on vegan, check the label before you buy.)
Having blind samples didn't seem super important since all 12 of them were from the same brand, and it's already pretty obvious which flavor is which. (That's one of the reasons I already liked Sabra; if its hummus is supposed to look, taste, and smell like roasted garlic, it does. I will also credit this with keeping my refrigerator completely vampire-free over the weekend).
My boyfriend Jeff and I both sampled each variety twice — once with toasted pita bread and once with baby carrots — just to see if the flavor was consistent even if the Hummus Delivery Device changed. We are obviously trained scientists. (We are not trained scientists.)
Of the dozen that we tried, there were none that we absolutely hated, although the rest of the Olive Tapenade will probably remain uneaten in the back of my refrigerator until I move out of this apartment. The others, including Sun-Dried Tomato, Spinach & Artichoke, and the slow-burning Supremely Spicy, were all fine, but they didn't impress us as much as our top three. Speaking of which, here goes.
"BUT THIS IS SO BASIC," you just shouted at your computer screen. Yes, but we thought it was actually better than the Classic version. Jeff thinks that there's a sharp, citrusy bite to the classic version, and the pine nuts both enhance and smooth out those spiky-tasting notes. It improves upon the original, without overpowering the distinct flavor (which I like). "This is an old friend," he said. "It's always a pleasure."
If you really like caramelized onions, you will love this. I do, I did, and I'm also not sure that I've ever made caramelized onions that taste better than the ones that are blended into this hummus. True to form, Sabra doesn't skimp on the onions, and their sweetness is satisfying without being cloying. The next day, I spread this on a kofte-style meatball wrap and it made for a super lunch. The day after that, it went on a turkey burger.
Although cumin isn't specifically listed on the ingredients list — there's only a vague "spices" — that was the predominant flavor, followed by hints of lime, paprika, and bell peppers. In addition to tasting great on pita and veggies, we both thought that this could be one of the most versatile varieties, because of that blend of flavors.
Okay, this one does seem like a bit of a novelty, but we both loved the blend of the (very) smoky paprika and the unexpected sweetness of the jackfruit. This might be best suited as a garnish, a dip, or as part of a larger hummus lineup. Its flavor is so bold and unique that it's going to outshine everything else — which can be good or bad, depending on what you're serving with it. I'm also profoundly disappointed to learn that it's a limited edition.
If anyone needs me, I'll be finding and hoarding that last one. That may or may not be my Facebook status for today.
Which Sabra hummus flavors are your favorites?