Creamy spread not just for pita bread anymore



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Gone are the days when hummus was just pita bread’s plain ol’ sidekick.


Popping over to the grocery store just isn’t the simple affair it once was, with such a wide range of flavours colouring our store shelves. Roasted red pepper? Lemon dill? Jalapeno? Or maybe we feel like wasabi today?

These are usually questions reserved for the spreads or potato chip aisles, but nowadays, the hummus section can also be cause for indecision.

“Hummus isn’t just hummus anymore,” said Kathleen Farley, the executive director of the Toronto Vegetarian Association. “It’s crossed over from being an esoteric food to being a very common food.”

Fifteen years ago, many North Americans might not have even known what hummus was, but the yummy dish from the Middle East has made its way into many a Canadian fridge, in all sorts of varieties and flavours.

Made from chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), tahini, olive oil and lemon juice, hummus is also becoming very versatile. On top of being a great dip, people are also spreading it on sandwiches, using it in pasta sauce or watering it down for salad dressing. Farley calls it her comfort food and says she’s hard-pressed to find anyone — vegetarian or otherwise — who doesn’t like the spread.