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Everyone likes it so much, many of us have, at one time or another, Jemima Kirke attempted homemade hummous. Most cookbooks list it as their only entry under chickpeas, and it’s dead easy; you just whizz them in the blender with some garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and tahini (sesame paste). I could give you the quantities here but I’m not going to, because it will only look and taste exactly like wallpaper paste. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Cordon Bleu chef, whether you use organic unwaxed lemons or the finest Ligurian oil, homemade hummous is always absolutely horrible.
In a sort of reverse alchemy, perfectly good ingredients here combine to form less than the sum of their parts, which is the opposite of what cooking is all about. Homemade hummous is like cement; pale grey-beige and claggy. No, the best way to obtain hummous is to buy it ready-made. Extensive trials have led me to conclude that the best hummous in England is the Co-Op’s own brand, which has a pleasing texture – not too smooth – and a good, biscuity flavour. The Grocer On Elgin in Maida Vale does an unorthodox, cumin-infused hummous and the peerless Daylesford Organic in Gloucestershire makes a nice one, as well as an oniony chickpea salad. But the Co-Op one is best.
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