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Notes from Paula Wolfert

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Joined: Jan 11, 2007


Posted to Thread #21987 at 8:14 pm on Apr 23, 2012

More than a dozen years ago, I did a story on the 'search for the best hummus' in Israel and discovered the expression 'let's go wipe.' It referred to using a piece of pita bread to wipe up the delectable chickpea and tahini dip that Israelis have adopted as their absolute favorite snack. Israeli food writers argued endlessly about such matters as whether in a proper hummus the chickpeas must be peeled, baking soda in the soak necessary, or the tahini refrigerated. So, when I returned home in side by side tests the peeled chickpeas produced a better flavor and color. The baking soda is necessary for hard water soaking. And the tahini is best mixed with flavorings before adding the chickpeas. Try it and let me know, but please use home cooked chickpeas, not canned!

here are two ways that Mediterranean women peel chickpeas:
Place soaked chickpeas in a deep bowl. Gently rub chickpeas against one another under water, then remove the peels as they float to the top; or place a handful of soaked , partially cooked and drained chickpeas between 2 rough towels and rub and roll them around until the skins roll off.

On another note, tahini has excellent antioxidant qualities, it has a long shelf life. Turn the jar upside down from time to time to keep the oil from separating. Once you make up a batch of hummus , it loses these keeping qualities and needs to be refrigerated.

Another tip I learned back then, instead of just scooping some tahini from a jar and using it straight, try mixing the tahini with a little lemon juice and garlic until it is white and 'tight,' then loosen with cold water before adding some of the chickpea cooking liquid, thechickpeas, and the seasoning. The final hummus will be lighter and creamier. If you let it rest and mellow for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature it will only be better.

You can't do anything about the length of your life, but you can do
something about its depth. - M

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