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Hummus review

An expert panel taste tested 27 popular hummus dips, here are the results.

What’s your favourite hummus? If you make your own, what’s your recipe?

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We make our own and love for it to be very garlicy. Recipe is simple (noting that we don’t measure and the following recipe is a guestimate of ratios we use):

  • about a cup of chickpeas (soaked over night and boiled to soften) - canned can be used but the flavour and texture will be slightly different.
  • a splash of vegetable oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice from the garden
  • a clove or two of garlic
  • about a tablespoon or two of whole white sesame seeds
  • dusting of smoked paprika on the finished hummus

Add all, except into a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a container and dust with paprika. Serve anyway one likes. It is especially tasty if still warm and fresh.

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Home made is definitely best, especially when you use home grown freshly picked chickpeas and garlic!
Chickpeas - cooked + tahini, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and paprika, all blended together.

I’ve only managed to grow a crop of chickpeas once, as mice usually get most of them before I do.

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Hummus without tahini or garlic.

Drain one can of chickpeas, place
in the mixer and add a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes, pinch of Thyme, pinch of paprika, salt and pepper, squeezed juice of 1/2 lemon, drizzle Evoo…

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A post was split to a new topic: Home Made is Best (?)

How can Black Swan take second place when it (and only it) contains three added thickeners and significant added sugar? It has more fat and far more sugar than any other brand in the top 20. This might explain why testers liked the taste, but it should heavily discount the rating.

How has testing taken proper account of ingredients? And is it a reliable “test” of nutrition to rely on the manufacturers’ stated composition and the simplistic and agreed-inadequate star rating system?

Choice’s ratings here are based mostly on “taste” which is obviously entirely subjective and should not sway results in the way it does. Manufacturer’s should not be rewarded for adding more sugar, fat and thickeners. In any case manufacturers can and do lie in their nutrition panels and ingredients lists – where is Choice’s cross check?

As it happens I’ve tried most of the higher rated brands and my favourite for taste is Yumis which scores poorly in your overall scores simply because your testers happened not to agree with my taste. The outcome of Choice tests is taken literally by many people and so “Aldi and Black Swan make the best hummus” is the take away for many readers and often external journalists as well. This is not in fact a true statement. More correctly might be “Choice’s testers liked the taste of Aldi and Black Swan best, but these are nutritionally inferior to other brands. You might like the taste of the nutritionally superior brands better.” Even better would be a scoring based on measured ingredients and nutrition with taste scored separately.

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Oh to have a choice of 25 at the local super market.

We purchase Chris’s or Yumi’s Classic. I’ve also had Black Swan. It has a more balanced - neutral flavour from memory. Perhaps more pleasing to the palette of more Aussies. When used as a butter substitute on bread etc, the differences are less noticeable than when the base for a dip.

It is promoted as a taste test. The nutrition panel is on the container if that is a concern.

Is this true of product lines such as hummus or similar dips? What might the costs be to analyse the ingredient composition of any food item?

P.S.
Being slightly mature, somethings just don’t taste like they used to. Don’t forget the extra salt is one desire of the ageing palette.

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Possibly it is meant to be a taste test, but I didn’t read it that way … the Reviews page says "We blind taste test and compare 27 supermarket and grocery chain hummus products from brands including Aldi, Copperpot and Obela, to find out which one you should be serving up on your nibbles platter. “Taste test AND compare” implies an overall review, and it might be presumptuous to “find out which one you should be serving up” based just on taste. In any case Choice devotes a deal of space to the ingredients, though no analysis of the significance of the ingredients. I confess I was surprised by the amount of sugar in Black Swan’s dips, and still believe that should have attracted some comment in the context of “find[ing] out which one you should be serving up”, especially when added to the high fat and unnecessary added thickeners they also use. Using the star rating as a measure of nutrition is a serious cop-out.

As you say though, 70% of the rating was based on taste. Since that is so subjective, and if that is the intention, there would/should be more discussion on the taste of each product. eg “this one was marked down as too salty but otherwise it rated highly. People who like salt might enjoy this more than other brands.” As it is, to come out with a review that says to most people “Aldi and Black Swan make the best hummus” is misleading and arguably unfair to other manufacturers, based on what went into the evaluation.

I agree about the salt though, more is better! (for taste)

And yes I know of one example where the nutrition panel was fictitious, and assume since there is effectively no monitoring by government, there is likely much more. Put yourself in the position of a small or medium manufacturer - given no-one checks, why would you pay for an analysis that is likely to make your product less attractive than something you can make up yourself? This is why we need Choice, and why I am disappointed Choice doesn’t, in fact, check.

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I always liked home made when I was sharing a house with someone who was a dab hand at making it! In lieu of that I found Chris’s to be closest in taste, but it only scored 63%. Oh well, I always knew my taste was somewhere down there!

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That sums it up: subjectivity.
FWIW, here’s my subjectivity: I am a regular hummus consumer and have not tried the Aldi product, so cannot comment, but to date love Obela and Yumi and really don’t like Black Swan (which tastes like Coles home brand hummus used to taste, presumably the latter changed providers or recipes) hence I disagree with Choice’s ranking.

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Right on brother. Your taste experience is exactly the same as mine. “love Obela and Yumi and really don’t like Black Swan”.

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I don’t like black Swan, but nor do I like HUmmus with stuff added, like Obela. Never tried Yumi.

I have always bought the Aldi product.
Initially only in the 250g tubs, but about a year ago, Aldi started to sell (or maybe I only noticed them then for the first time) 1kg tubs and I have bought them ever since. They cost only $4.99 so the unit price is only 50c per 100g compared to 80c per kg for the 250g tub. And, it keeps in good condition for ages in the 1kg tub in the fridge, so there is no wastage…

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Thank you for looking at hummus - I find that very few shop bought varieties taste anything like the real thing. Too much vinegar making them taste sweet and acidic and very unpalatable. I have given up buying it except for the new line that I can now get in Gilberts in Fremantle, WA.

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Hi @betsybush, welcome to the community and thank you for your first post.

I have moved your post to an existing thread about Choice’s recent Hummus review. Your post neatly fits within the content of this existing thread for other to read and enjoy.

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FYI, there is a version of Obela hummus without any added stuff. I too, don’t like stuff added (no doubt to cater for local tastes).

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Good to hear that the Aldi hummus product is keenly priced when they introduced a new tub size. The same cannot be said for their euro sourced cheeses which were uniformly $3.99/250 gms until this year (or maybe late last year) when I saw them at $3.49/200 gms. A price rise from $16/kg to $17.45/kg.

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Spot on JMR. I thought result by Choice is odd. I love the taste of Yumis hummus and now I know it has less sugar and salt and better nutrition. I am surprised about the Choice recommendations. It would be good to look at other reviews, especially by dieticians, not just the ones from Choice. Need to avoid high salt, high sugar and canola oil.

Hi @Lever, welcome to the community.

and

Possibly not. Choice reviews a range of products which are seen as occasional foods…chocolates etc. Hummus is no different. For most consumers it is an occasional food and not something eaten regularly. Some cultures eat it regularly, but I suspect they make their own to their cultural/family recipe…rather than buying a supermarket commercial variety all the time.

As it is an occasional food for most consumers, taste will be the most important factor rather than what is healthiest and possibly lacking in taste. If one is on a special diet for health reasons (low sodium, low fat, low sugar etc), then nutritional values may be the most important factor…they may shop on this basis. If one is on say a low sodium diet, should Choice only review hummus in the light of low sodium diets for an occasional food, I don’t think so. This is why taste of the panel tasters drives the review outcomes.

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Reply to phb from Choice Staff. You do not seem to understand any of the comments by me and others about the recent hummus review by Choice.

I love the taste of Yumi hummus. Yumi humus has a better taste than those recommended in the Choice review. Hence, I do not understand the low taste rating given by your tasters.

When my nearly two year old grand son comes to our place he goes to the fridge and points to it since he loves the taste of Yumi humus so much. We eat hummus nearly every day so hummus is not an occasional food. Humus is a healthy food not a rare treat. Yumi is gluten free and can be eaten by celiacs,