Edible Food Finds: Just Hummus
Photo by Michael Piazza
It’s not just about hummus at Just Hummus. Founder Colin Daly became enamored with this Middle Eastern staple during a year-long stint teaching in the Bedouin city of Rahat in Israel’s Negev Desert. Not only did he fall in love with hummus, he also fell in love with the tradition behind it, shared from the same plate at a meal. And in Israel, hummus is a meal. Specialty hummus shops called hummusia can be found across the region. Colin canvassed the shops and tried to wheedle processes and ingredients from long and closely held recipes handed down through the ages. Let’s just say some were more open than others.
As its essence, hummus is chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic and spices but, as Colin will tell you, the whole is so much more than the sum of its parts. The simplicity of the ingredients means that each one adds very distinctive flavor, and even small changes to one ingredient can cause an imbalance across the batch and require complete rework. For Colin’s hummus, small lemons, 8–9mm dried chickpeas and Lebanese tahini yield the best results. He has experimented with additional ingredients like basil, turmeric and mint, but he has decided to concentrate on two flavors: Original and Zesty Black Bean, which contains both chickpeas and black beans along with tahini, fresh habanero pepper, lemon, lime, garlic and spices.
Distribution started with friends and family, then local farmers markets and now his fresh hummus can be found at Brothers Marketplace stores throughout the Boston area. It may only have a two-week shelf life, but once you taste it, you’ll find that’s not a problem.
This story appeared in the Summer 2019 issue.