This mix of cooked mashed chickpeas, tahini (a sesame paste), oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic originated in the Middle East but has become increasingly popular in the U.S., where (as with blueberry bagels) flavors heretical to purists have cropped up. Among those are chipotle, pizza, and even peanut butter. Our trained tasters tried 10 traditional types.
None has the fresh lemon or garlic notes that would make it seem homemade, but four are very good—clearly better than the lowest-rated product, Trader Joe’s, which has a sour dairy flavor. In the chart (available to subscribers), you’ll find descriptions of how each hummus tastes.
When it comes to nutrition, only Wild Garden earns a score of Very Good, but it tastes just so-so. The rest earn a nutrition score of Good. They have 50 to 80 calories per 2-tablespoon serving, along with 3 to 7 grams of fat, minimal saturated fat, and 95 to 160 milligrams of sodium.
Cedar’s Naturally Delicious (it has no preservatives) and Simply Delicious are best overall. If you’re really hot for hummus, consider buying Hannah Classic from Costco, which comes in a 32-ounce tub and is the cheapest of all at 19 cents a serving. For the freshest hummus, make your own. The following recipe yields about 2 cups:
In a food processor, blend 2 garlic cloves, 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons water for 30 to 60 seconds. Add a 19-ounce can of chickpeas (drained), alternating with ⅓ cup tahini. With the motor running, add ¼ cup olive oil. Purée until smooth, adding more water if needed. Stir in ¾ teaspoon salt.