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Best hummus, taste tested: We try the top shop-bought brands

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Best hummus, taste tested: We try the top shop-bought brands

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Hummus may have been presented as a middle-class spread when it first arrived on British soil back in the 80s, but today, the staple has fans across the board. 

The universally loved dip/ spread/ food started life as many popular dishes, like pizza, do – as a food of the working classes.

Where does hummus come from?

It was a staple for ancient Middle Eastern peasants with food historians pinning Syria as the place most likely to have originated the dish. Trade routes and a Moorish empire would have brought humble hummus towards the Mediterranean where a version exists in many countries, from Egypt, Turkey and Israel to Morocco at the gateway of the Atlantic.

Houmous or hummus: how do you spell it?

There are multiple ways to spell it, but in England, the most common version is hummus, derived from Arabic. Turkey sometimes uses humus, while houmous is another way you’ll see it written. 

For pronunciation, the emphasis should be front-loaded: that is HOUM-uhs. Not who-mouse, not hum-murse. 

Middle Eastern dishes tend to be meat-heavy but hummus is not only good for vegetarians – the original version is vegan to boot. The chickpeas offer a healthy hit of fibre while the sesame seeds in tahini and olive oil put mono-unsaturated fats on your plate, useful for a healthy heart.

How to make hummus at home

Made from a finely blitzed blend of chickpeas and sesame seeds, and enriched with olive oil, squeezes of lemon, and garlic, hummus is easy to whip up at home with a blender. The added benefit – aside from knowing exactly what’s in it – is that you can finish it however you like. Keep it simple with a drizzle of oil, pesto or pomegranate seeds or spreading it over a large platter and add beef brisket, falafel or roasted veggies finished with a dusting of sumac.

It may be easy to make but not everyone has the time; especially when the urge strikes. Grocers across the UK line fridges with own-brand versions and options from big brands; we are living in hummus’ golden age. 

Wondering which is the best? We’ve tried more than our fair share in the name of journalism to bring you a list of the ones you have to try.

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