When Jews and Muslims aren’t fighting over the ownership of hummus, they can agree on one thing: the chickpea puree is delicious. And in its Middle Eastern homeland, it is also a pretty straight forward recipe, usually containing just chickpeas, olive oil, lemon, garlic, tahini, and spices.
So how would hummus die-hards feel about America’s jalapeño pepper hummus? Pesto hummus? Everything bagel hummus?
Tribe Mediterranean Foods, the US’s second largest seller of hummus, says it can make all of these without sacrificing authenticity.
Tribe CEO Adam Carr explained at an Advertising Week panel that for his company, authenticity is “more about culture and high quality ingredients.”
Over the past several months, the Massachusetts-based company has certainly brought culture and ingredients to the forefront, with a rebranding that emphasizes their chickpea obsession. New marketing describes the legumes as getting “pampered” with a “spa treatment,” and being handled by “Expert Matchmakers” that join the chickpeas with spices. New black packaging highlights images of the ingredients; and the company has even introduced T.H. Chickpea, a large costumed mascot who appears at public events.
This attempt to shake up the hummus market has also included the aforementioned flavors that could have Middle Eastern heads spinning. Everything bagel hummus, with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onion, and garlic (presumably, the salt is already included), was introduced in a limited batch last spring; a press release described it as “flying off the shelves.” Other delicious but untraditional flavors include chipotle, sun-dried tomato and basil, and roasted vegetable.
Israelis, both Jews and Arabs, reportedly consume more hummus per capita than any of their Middle Eastern neighbors, but it is unlikely than any of that hummus is inspired by a bagel. One thing Israelis would still appreciate: all Tribe offerings are kosher-certified.
Looking for a more traditional hummus? Try Jspace Food’s recipe for classic hummus here!