Comments (32)
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satine_gw

Thanks for the heads up.

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georgysmom2

Thanks for the warning....generally make my own (it only takes a few minutes), but will pass along info to friends that buy.

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annie1992

I also generally make my own, but occasionally do buy individual "tubs" for picnics, etc. Thanks for the warning, the only store that I have near me on that list is Fresh Thyme, they are 50 miles away but I do go there occasionally.

Annie

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

Saw that this morning. Big list. I make my own but it has been a while. Twice recently tahini was recalled and I had two varieties on the list in my pantry.

More a Fall winter dip but we seem to have lost the appetite for it since all the recalls.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Phew! Thank goodness it's not the chocolate hummus...which is just a little bit of heaven on earth! Yum!

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georgysmom2

Never heard about the Tahini recall. I get mine at Trader Joe's and I guess it's okay because I've been eating hummus with no ill side affects. I add two creamy avocados to my base recipe and it's very yummy. My neighbor's husband does not eat avocados (fool that he is) but he was eating this hummus and loved it. DH doesn't eat hummus or avocados and the next day after the first time I made it, he said....do you have anymore of that green stuff left? Try it, you'll love it.

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Elmer J Fudd

I dislike most commercial hummus products but have found that Whole Foods' house brand Original Hummus is consistently good. It has a pleasing flavor with just the right amounts of tahini, garlic and lemon in balance but recognizable. Their production sources and the flavors may vary regionally, my experience is only with the products sold in California.


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DawnInCal

It's good to know about recalls - thank you for posting that info.

I make my own hummus and tahini, so no worries here. Once one starts making it from scratch, there is no going back to the commercial varieties. Every now and then, I'll buy one for a snack on the go and find it sorely lacking.

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Andie

I've made my own, but In all honesty prefer the convenience of ready made.

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chloebud

I also make my own hummus. It's so easy and better than what you can buy. Same with tzatziki...definitely homemade there.


Just thinking...TJ's Mediterranean Hummus isn't bad in a pinch. I doctor it up a bit with a little more lemon and maybe garlic.


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Elmer J Fudd

For me, the "make vs buy" decision for food is always a tradeoff between convenience and taste. I've made hummus with a few different recipes and even though it's easy, I haven't found the results worth even the small effort. A highly rated Middle Eastern restaurant in the area, which is always mobbed, of course makes their own hummus. I find the Whole Foods product and a few others made "in-house" elsewhere that I can get to-go tastier. To each their own preference.

It's the same with ethnic food. We have so many good Mexican, Indian, Asian restaurants of all types and other kinds around that except occasionally for company dinners, it isn't worth trying to make any of that stuff at home. It's better and more convenient to have in a restaurant.

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Lars

It's very much worth it for me to make my own hummus because I use Meyer lemons and toasted sesame oil. I always omit cumin, which I hate in hummus, and I use high quality olive oil. I've not had hummus in restaurants that compares to mine, but I will order it. We went to an Israeli restaurant in the West Adams district last week, and their hummus was quite bland and almost tasteless. A Greek deli near to that restaurant has better hummus.

I buy tahini at a Middle Eastern market that has a dizzying array of brands from many different Middle Eastern countries. I've never had problems with any of them.

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Andie

Same with tzatziki...definitely homemade there.


I always make my own tzatziki, but I don't eat that as often as hummus. To me hummus is a lot more work. I cook the beans and peel the skins before mixing everything. It's very time consuming.

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chloebud

"We went to an Israeli restaurant in the West Adams district last week, and their hummus was quite bland and almost tasteless."


Lars, I always find that irritating since it's easy to make good hummus. We also have a Middle Eastern market close by where I buy tahini. I enjoy wandering around that place with so many interesting items. They have a nice selection of feta cheese...Greek, Bulgarian, Israeli, French. My favorite, by far, is the French which I'm pretty much never without.

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DawnInCal

Andie, I don't peel the chick peas. They go straight into the food processor as is and my hummus always turns out smooth and creamy. Eliminating that step would really reduce the time it takes and make it a lot less work for you.

As far as making vs buying, there are those of us for whom preparing food is an enjoyable and fun activity. I know I enjoy the actual process, especially when making something new, as much as I enjoy eating the finished results.

I get that convenience is important to many as well. When I was working, I had no interest in cooking because I had very little free time and even less extra energy. Now that I'm retired, preparing food has become one of my favorite activities.

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Andie

DawnInCal, don't get me wrong, I enjoy cooking for the most part. I do go through periods where it's more work than pleasure. Such is life.

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DawnInCal

I hear ya, Andie. I think we all have periods like that. Lately, it seems all I do is paint the interior of the house, but I can now see the light at the end of the tunnel - just the hallway left to do. Luckily, I like to paint!

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Elmer J Fudd

Both my wife and I enjoy cooking but I think it's more that it's the end result that matters most for us. I was right to mention convenience as a factor but there's another, I left out this thought.

If I can make something that's a reasonable approximation of what I can buy (either in a store or in a restaurant) but not as good, the pleasure of doing it myself doesn't make up for the disappointment of it being second-best, or worse. It's a waste of time and effort if something I know will be better is readily available. And if I (we) don't have to do it myself (ourself,) that's a bonus! We live in an area where very good food and wine is easily available and excellent. To not take advantage of it would be shame.

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plllog

The tasteless hummus in the Israeli restaurant may be due to customer tastes. Hummus is usually swimming in garlic and some people just don't like it.

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lindac92

I make my own hummus and make it the way I like it......lots of garlic, some cumin and a lot of lemon....and sometimes I add some Hot sauce too. Everyone may not like ti like that....but I like it better than any I have bought

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Elmer J Fudd

"Hummus is usually swimming in garlic and some people just don't like it."

I think putting garlic into an uncooked food can be tricky. The strength/pungency of fresh garlic varies from bulb to bulb and adding just a little too much or having an overly pungent batch of garlic can make the item overpowering or uncomfortably garlicky hot. Someone who's making it mechanically following a recipe without tasting what's happening can easily put in too much.

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Lars

Plllog, I think you are right about the garlic. The restaurant we went to in West Adams is Mizlala, which started in Sherman Oaks (which we seldom visit), but I'm sure the valley restaurant is better, as the West Adams restaurant has a pared down menu and no parking! West Adams is becoming gentrified, and so there are a lot of new shops and restaurants there, but no new parking lots or even valet parking. I ordered a falafel plate with salad, and the salad had a very interesting mix of fresh herbs, including very flavorful dill and cilantro, which I had not had mixed together before. I wasn't crazy about the falafel (although Kevin liked it) because they used a different mix of spices than what I use, and I detected a hint of cinnamon, which I especially do not like in falafel. I wanted fried artichoke hearts, but they only have those in the Valley.

Seating in the West Adams location was pretty much all outdoors with not enough shade.

The only bean that I peel the skins from is fava, and this is the bean I prefer when I make falafel. Whenever I find fresh fava beans, I make falafel.

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artemis_ma

Elmer, since the closest decent recipes of [add your ethnic choice] at select restaurants are at least 50 minutes away, I am happy to learn how to cook these things.

Plus... it's fun.

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Elmer J Fudd

Sure, artemis, that's clear. Please note my comment was in the first person, "If I can make something that's a reasonable approximation of what I can buy....but not as good ", then I prefer to go to a restaurant.

If you prefer to do it yourself or if restaurants with good food of the kind you want aren't available, then that's the consequence of YOUR preference or where you chose to live. Different choices for different people.

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Andie

Trader Joe's used to have a really good Sriracha hummus. Of course they discontinued it. Found the same at Sprout's today. Haven't tried it yet. Hope it's as good.

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plllog

TJ's was sampling a "Buffalo" hummus a few weeks ago. It had a good, spicy flavor that wasn't raw-peppery the way a lot of "Buffalo" foods are, though, like all factory made hummus, the texture was all squishy, like a dip. Properly made by hand, the texture is more like homemade refried beans, not glue. :) If the Sprouts one doesn't suit, you might try the Buffalo.

BTW, they were sampling it with "3 seed beet crackers", which are thin, round red corn chips. They mostly taste like salty note cards (too thin for true cardboard, which is the usual designation for factory boxed crackers), with a light, fried texture, and an underlying of corn tortilla chip (which matches up with the ingredients--the beets and seeds are decorative (they're very pretty) but don't add noticeable flavor.

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chloebud

"...the beets and seeds are decorative (they're very pretty) but don't add noticeable flavor."


Totally agree. plllog. Aside from the color, you'd never know there was anything "beet" about them. After buying a box awhile back, I found myself munching on one after another. IDK, maybe it was more the texture and salt. My husband started eating them with a chunk of blue cheese he crumbled.



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plllog

Well, they're pretty, salty and crunchy. What's not to like? Just know that unlike most crackers, they're fried corn chips. :)

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Andie

Speaking of TJ's crackers have you had their Pistachio & Pomegranate Crisps? I think they're seasonal. I've only seen them during the Christmas holiday. Positively delicious with the, also seasonal, Lemon Ricotta Cheese.

http://www.traderjoesreviews.com/product/trader-joes-pistachio-pomegranate-crisps-reviews/


https://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article/4533

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chloebud

Andie, I haven't had them but will check. I've been shopping at TJ's for a very long time...circa 1977. At that time they only had one store in the entire country...right here in Pasadena. Sometimes it can be frustrating when their seasonal items are gone. I once needed baking powder and couldn't find it. When I asked they said it was seasonal. I know their shelf space is more limited than larger markets, but baking powder??? I haven't checked in a long time but am guessing it might be a year round item now. Still love TJ's after all these years and am there 2-3 times a week. Easy when they're a couple miles from home...and everywhere here in CA. As big a fan as I am, I also know what I DON'T want to buy there.


ETA - Not sure about the Pistachio Pomegranate Crisps, but I might have seen the Fig Crisps there recently.

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Andie

I learned a couple years ago to grab a few boxes of the puff pastry when it hits the freezer case during the holidays. They disappear fast. All butter and about a third of the price of Whole Foods or Fresh Market.

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chloebud

Definitely!

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