Can you remember when hummus wasn’t everywhere?
Twenty or so years ago, back in the VCR, Walkman and mix-tape days, anyone who knew what the tasty and versatile chickpea puree was had to go on a quest to find it or, God forbid, make it themselves. Today it’s everywhere from convenience stores and bars to football games and upscale restaurants, and for a good reason. Who doesn’t like or love hummus in some way, shape or form?
Even though hummus has achieved almost maximum culinary exposure in the states, we’d fathom to guess that a lot of people get their hummus fix via some form of grocery aisle or as snack or appetizer at a restaurant. But Hummusology, 1112 Locust St., is here to show people a different side to the tasty food staple.
The chefs at Hummusology traveled all the way to Tel Aviv, Israel where there are hummusiyas at almost every corner, to learn how to make Israeli-style hummus using authentic ingredients that are distinct to that region and culture.
So when you come to Hummusology, hummus isn’t the appetizer, it’s the main course — served up in warm, comforting doses with savory toppings that bring extra excitement. We tried the two most exotic offerings. The Tomato and Eggs Duet ($12) is made with shakshuka, a spicy African tomato sauce, and a generous helping of hummus topped with paprika, olive oil, green sauce and tahini. The tomatoes are an inspired pairing, bringing a robust brightness to the hummus, and the tahini adds a creamy richness to the plate. The Shroomed Hummus ($11) is on the earthier end of the spectrum, with sautéed and warm chickpeas. The Go Hard or Go Home ($11) is in the middle ground of the flavors expected from hummus, with fava beans, chickpeas and a hard-boiled egg complementing the dish.
Hummusology put a lot of work in the garnishes too. The baked pita bread, Israeli salads, olives and pickles — all house-made — round out your meal in excellent fashion. Another side item you should definitely try are the burekas ($10), fluffy and crisp puff pastries filled with either potatoes or cheese.
If all you know about hummus is what you see on party platters or in the refrigerated aisle at the store, make your way to Washington Square West and study up on Hummusology.