Tuesday, March 01, 2011

quest for tahini

It's frustrating when your local grocery store offers plenty of Goya brand chick peas (at 89 cents per can, too! not bad) but doesn't stock even a single bottle of tahini. Tahini is a light brown sesame seed paste (see here) that's crucial for making hummus. Throw it into the food processor with your chick peas and some other ingredients, and you're good to go.

Hummus is now so thoroughly Americanized that you can add just about anything to the mix. My own personal preference is to lay off the acid and to up the creaminess factor: no lemon juice, but plenty of cream cheese, along with the usual suspects: garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, and maybe even some red chili pepper flakes.

I just did a search for hummus in my locale, and may have found a candidate store. Here's hoping that my quest bears fruit.

UPDATE: Tahini found! My usual grocer might not have had it, but that grocer's competitor, just up the street, carried-- strangely enough-- tahini in a can: Yehuda brand (imported from Israel!) tehina. A quick sniff-and-taste reassured me that Israeli tehina was little different from tahini, but because I'm paranoid about open cans and oxidation, I quickly moved the product into a small plastic container. "There it shall stay until called for!" cackled the Emperor in my mind. "And what of the reports of the rebel fleet massing near Sullust?" Darth Vader rumbled. I decided to let Vader and Palpatine play out their dialogue by themselves while I went on to other things.



Maven said...

Please hit me up on Twitter, if you need me to send you some tahini by post. Srsly. I'd do that for ya.

Kevin Kim said...

Tahini FOUND! Am about to update.

Elisson said...

tehina = tahini. Kinda like Chanukah = Hanukkah.

I dunno about the cream cheese (Philly hummus?!?) but I definitely approve of the red pepper and garlic. In fact, if you hunt around enough, you might find a bottle of schug (the "ch" is pronounced as the "ch" in "loch") - a blazing hot Israeli pepper-based condiment that is great with hummus.

SJHoneywell said...

For future reference, hit a health food store. The one by my house features tahini in bulk in bring-your-own container dispenser form.

Also...roasted eggplant instead of chickpeas, and makes your hummus the delightfully fun to say babaganoush.