Best supermarket hummus
June 14, 2012 7:04 AM   Subscribe

What are the best brands of supermarket hummus? I live in Minnesota, so bonus points for hummus available here.
posted by Area Man to Food & Drink (70 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Sabra!
posted by pyjammy at 7:07 AM on June 14, 2012 [12 favorites]

Holy Land is available in some grocery stores. It's pretty delicious.
posted by goggie at 7:07 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Definitely Sabra. Tribe is ... awful.
posted by griphus at 7:08 AM on June 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

If you have a Whole Foods nearby, their store brand is delicious and not that expensive, especially when it's on sale.
posted by Majorita at 7:09 AM on June 14, 2012

I like Tribe (especially the forty spices one) and Sabra, no idea if you have those in Minnesota. The best way (and cheapest!) is to make your own. all you really need is olive oil and chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans). Metafilter has lots of ideas for flavors to add here and here.
posted by Wretch729 at 7:09 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Cedar's is so good they removed it from our local Whole Foods to replace it with their own brand. At least I think it is. ; ) It also demolishes any supermarket brand I've had in our area (Austin), including the local brands. I have no idea where to find it now, tho.
posted by bitterkitten at 7:16 AM on June 14, 2012

Whole Foods' store brand is pretty darn good, and cheaper than the rest of the ones I can find. The best store bought I've ever had is Wakim's, but I don't think they get distributed out your way. I'm not really a fan of either Tribe or Sabra, but I do remember Holy Land being decent 15 years ago when I lived in St. Paul. And, yeah, making your own is easy-peasy, especially if you have a food processor (or a blender?).
posted by mollweide at 7:16 AM on June 14, 2012

Trader Joe's Smooth & Creamy Spicy Hummus is out of this world.
posted by something something at 7:16 AM on June 14, 2012

I cannot help you with delicious MN hummus except to agree that Sabra is better than Tribe, but the most delicious MA hummus is Samira's Homemade.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:17 AM on June 14, 2012

My Israeli friends got me into Sabra, but Trader Joe's also has some great varieties.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:19 AM on June 14, 2012

I like Trader Joe's garlic hummus very much.
posted by PussKillian at 7:23 AM on June 14, 2012

Oh, I forgot about TJ's hummus. It's pretty good, although a bit grittier than Sabra's from what I remember. Whether that's good or bad is a matter of taste; I prefer my hummus smooth.
posted by griphus at 7:24 AM on June 14, 2012

Dunno if you can get it in Minnesota, but the best stuff I've gotten in Philly is Bobbi's Best hummus, especially the roasted garlic and black bean versions.
posted by ActionPopulated at 7:25 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

For generic grocery stores, I much prefer Tribe over Sabra. I can't really palate the latter, which always tastes bland and overly processed to me. Trader Joe's hummus is much better than both of those though.

Try finding Mediterranean and Middle Eastern grocery stores in your area - they are probably your best bet at finding delicious ready-to-nom hummus. Not sure where in Minnesota you are, but Yelp brings up some good places in the Minneapolis area. They might cost a dollar or two more than the generic stuff, but generally far better in freshness and taste.
posted by raztaj at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2012

Cedar is good, if you can get it (another Massachusetts brand! Apparently I live in Hummus Central.)

The Trader Joe's hummus is fine--I like the organic best.
posted by Sidhedevil at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Syllables! Thanks for that recipe! I've been eating my version of this for lunch for about 3 years, but I've wanted to make it my own on the cheap.

Tribe is garbage, but if you add enough Sriracha you can't tell. It'll always do in a pinch.
posted by activitystory at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2012

Sabra jalapeño hummus is so killer, so so killer.
posted by capnsue at 7:26 AM on June 14, 2012

Seconding Sidhedevil - forgot about Cedar's! Definitely better than Tribe & Sabra, imho.
posted by raztaj at 7:28 AM on June 14, 2012

Best options? In my opinion make your own, or... seeing as you seem to be in the Twin Cities hit up the Mississippi Market or The Wedge.

The benefits of those options is it will be fresh.
posted by edgeways at 7:29 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

n'thing Sabra and Trader Joes as the best supermarket brands you are likely to find in your area. Making your own is fine if you have the time, but really good hummus deserves fresh baked pita, and once you start pulling that thread, who knows where it will end. Just buy one of those kinds and enjoy.
posted by dudeman at 7:34 AM on June 14, 2012

What are the best brands of supermarket hummus?

Are you considering ethical concerns or taste only?
posted by andoatnp at 7:35 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sabra is gross, but some people like it. I was horrified when I found out that they add mayo to some of their products. Trader Joes has fine hummus. Making your own is really easy, too.
posted by 200burritos at 7:36 AM on June 14, 2012

Sabra is good, but as others have said, Trader Joes hummus is really good if you have one near you.
posted by deansfurniture5 at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2012

200burritos: Sabra does not put mayonnaise into any hummus product. You can verify that here.
posted by saeculorum at 7:49 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! If you're going to Trader Joe's, make sure to pick up some of their tzatziki to go with the hummus. I have never in my life had pre-packaged tzatziki as good as theirs.
posted by griphus at 7:52 AM on June 14, 2012

Sabra tastes fine to me - we get the huge tubs of Sabra roasted red pepper hummus at Costco and it's a great deal for hummus, price to volume.

(Canada represent: the President's Choice hummus line is well done IMO - their roasted pepper hummus is a solid everyday choice. But their "masala hummus" is my new addiction - omg, I just Googled and here is a copycat recipe to try if anyone else thinks that sounds good).
posted by flex at 7:53 AM on June 14, 2012

Nthing Holy Land. Nothing else compares, in my opinion.
posted by anderjen at 7:54 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have never been able to make satisfactory hummus at home. Yet I love it so much so that I used to drive FIFTY MILES to Philadelphia to get the aforementioned Bobbi's Hummus (jalapeno), which, in its heyday, was not only the best hummus available in the supermarket, but the best commercially prepared food of any kind. Unfortunately, Bobbi's son has taken over the business and while availability has skyrocketed (it's now in most Whole Foods around here), quality has been waning. It is a pale shadow of what it was 5 or 10 years ago.

The best I've found recently is Fountain of Health HUMM! Hummus Cocktail. It's from Canada but available in my NJ Whole Foods, so probably you can find it in Minnesota. Both the Greek Olive and Caramelized Onion flavors are awesome.
posted by apparently at 7:54 AM on June 14, 2012

Hummus is just chickpeas and oil, and then any combination of garlic, salt, lemon juice, etc.

Also tahini.
posted by griphus at 7:55 AM on June 14, 2012 [6 favorites]

posted by wwax at 7:56 AM on June 14, 2012

Another vote for Sabra. Tribe is more lemon-y, TJs is very creamy (and not in a good way -- at least for my palette... is that mayonaise?). I go Sabra traditional or spicy, as the flavored ones can overpower the chickpea. My costco sells Sabra at a bargain price (~$5 for a big tub).

I discovered Chef Earl's Hummus at the Whole Foods in St. Louis two years ago but haven't seen it on the west coast. Looks like it's a midwest thing (facebook link), so maybe you could find it in MN? If you like spicy, Chef Earl's Giardiniera was bomb. (Seriously, I once got it by the case.)
posted by ariela at 7:59 AM on June 14, 2012

Nthing make your own. A good blender is all it takes, and you'll wonder how you ever ate supermarket hummus at all.
posted by Citrus at 7:59 AM on June 14, 2012

Yes to Trader Joe's, but they have about a dozen types of hummus and I'm pretty certain they're made by a handful of different contract manufacturers. Some are better than others. In standard supermarkets, I'd probably go with Sabra.

(If you make your own, you'll end up with another question: who makes the best tahini. The answer to that is al-Wadi, but you'll need an ethnic grocery for that.)
posted by holgate at 8:01 AM on June 14, 2012

Response by poster: andoatnp - I was only focused on taste. I'm not interested in boycotting Israeli brands or products or getting into a discussion about that issue (I'll leave that to folks in Park Slope), and I'm not aware of any other ethical issues.

I agree that homemade hummus is great, but I've gotten busy with kids and my job and have ended up buying hummus from the store. Also, I'm planning a blind taste test of top brands.
posted by Area Man at 8:02 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sabra for sure. I never buy any other brand. Their pine nut hummus is amazing.
posted by xenophile at 8:04 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Even if you're not making it, yt never hurts to have some extra tahini around for the humus! I'm partial to Beirut, myself, but chances are you'll have either Kronos or Joyva available, which are also not too bad. Make sure to stir!
posted by griphus at 8:04 AM on June 14, 2012

(Also, tahini doesn't need to be refrigerated, so if you don't have any ethnic markets around, you can buy a good, imported brand online instead of getting gouged at a specialty store.)
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on June 14, 2012

I will add a vote for Trader Joe's Garlic Hummus. My Lebanese friends also like it and tell me it's the closest to what they eat back home, at least for a non-homemade, widely available brand.
posted by redfishbluefish at 8:07 AM on June 14, 2012

I am lucky to live with someone who comes from the land of hummus bars, and I am regularly spoiled with the best tasting hummus I have had the pleasure to eat. The kind so good it can be eaten with nothing but a spoon, if it came to it.

The only store bought hummus we will buy is: Fontaine Santé's hummus (usually in classic, but for your reference, many of their other flavours are well-balanced and tasty) -- this hummus is manufactured in Canada by a Québecois company, but they also distribute in the US. See Fontaine Santé's website for the American market.

Look closely at the unusual shape and colouring of this container. This container can be found at Whole Foods in the US. I'm not sure if all stateside Whole Foods locations carry it, however. You can find Fontaine Santé contact info at the above link and ask them where in MN you can find it. Sometimes it sells out at Whole Foods and you may have to wait a while to restock.

If you can't find that, I'd recommend Sabra. It can't stand alone but is passable if you can find an flavoured edible carrier that offsets its pasty texture and flavour.

I strongly recommend against: Tribe (all varieties), Trader Joe's Smooth and Creamy Classic (suprisingly worse than Sabra). And if you hop across the border to Canada sometime, avoid Summer Fresh (all varieties). Also in Canada: I find President's Choice (PC) a bit thin (watery), and it doesn't have enough tahini. Fortunately it's not pasty, though.

Anyway, depending on how selective you are about your hummus, you can also make your own. Recipes are widely available but one important point often left out is that your tahini must be of very good quality (i.e. non-bitter but mild and tasty enough to be eaten alone). Good quality doesn't mean the most expensive so determining this requires sampling different locally available brands of tahini to narrow it down.
posted by mayurasana at 8:08 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Throwing in another vote for Trader Joe's organic.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:11 AM on June 14, 2012

Yes! Fontaine Sante = Fountain of Health in the US! Container is differently shaped but still bright orange.
posted by apparently at 8:14 AM on June 14, 2012

I am only commenting to say that not enough people have told you that if you live in Minnesota and you eat anything but Holy Land hummus you are doing yourself a disservice.

If you're in the twin cities, try to make it to their deli/store and get it uberfresh with a stack of warm pitas and a drizzle of olive oil sometime... yum!
posted by sparklemotion at 8:14 AM on June 14, 2012

I should mention that I've never sampled the cocktail hummus by Fontaine Santé. Only the "original hummus" varieties that come in the trapezoid shape.
posted by mayurasana at 8:15 AM on June 14, 2012

Thanks apparently! I knew it had a different name in the US but couldn't remember and thought I was going crazy. The US one should look like this?
posted by mayurasana at 8:17 AM on June 14, 2012

Aren't all the products mentioned here made by North American companies? Sabra is a US company, Tribe is a US company (also based in Massachusetts, land of hummus), etc., etc.

I am confused about what "ethical concerns" arise in the making of hummus in North America. Is there some hummus manufacturer that is known for using sweatshop labor or flavoring their hummus with baby kittens?
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:19 AM on June 14, 2012

Nthing Holy Land hummus. It's delicious and made in MN and delicious and comes with coupons to donate 25 cents to your favorite charity and did I mention it is delicious?
posted by jillithd at 8:20 AM on June 14, 2012

Once you've located your favorite plain (i.e. unflavored) store-bought hummus and had it enough times that you start looking for flavored ones, you can try it with Turkish pastrami*.

Hummus in a oven-proof container, a few slices of pastrami on top and into the oven.

*Turkish 'pastirma' is heavily spiced, so pastrami from your local deli is not a good substitute. Also, don't forget to remove the small band of spice rub still attached to the outer rim.
posted by hoca efendi at 8:22 AM on June 14, 2012

W/r/t ethical concerns, Sabra is 51% owned by Strauss, who are an Israeli company.
posted by griphus at 8:23 AM on June 14, 2012

(Although the company itself is American and their factory is in Virginia, so who the hell knows.)
posted by griphus at 8:24 AM on June 14, 2012

I'm not a big fan of Sabra - I find it a little bit oily - but it's become the most widely available kosher houmous here. I much prefer Yarden, but it's getting harder to find. It definitely does not have mayonnaise in it (I have a tub in the fridge at work). That's pretty much the only 'brand' that's sold here aside from own-brand products.

I could tell you in detail which British supermarket own-brands are better, but that's not much use to you. Even if Waitrose apparently do 16 different types of houmous now. A lot of formerly good houmouses (Morrisons was lovely and garlicky) have had something done to the recipe that gives them a really odd bitter taste, and I'm not sure what that is.
posted by mippy at 8:29 AM on June 14, 2012

Holy Land. The correct answer is Holy Land. Put Holy Land, in your preferred flavor (there's garlic and olive and red pepper and even avocado), directly in your mouth, do not pass Go. I mean, unless for some reason you enjoy hummus that's less than perfectly smooth and creamy, in which case idk what even to do with you.
posted by clavicle at 8:36 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Chunky houmous is great! I like Yarden purely because they keep a few whole chickpeas in there, and I used to like the Asda one BEFORE THEY FUCKED WITH THE RECIPE because it had a bitty texture.
posted by mippy at 8:38 AM on June 14, 2012

saeculorum, the product I was referring to was the 'Classic' Babaganoush. The fact that Sabra cannot treat baba ghannouj with the respect it deserves turns their mediocre hummus into dirt in my mouth.
posted by 200burritos at 8:56 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If I don't have the energy/time to make my own (obviously homehade is the best) then Fontaine Santé/Fountain of Health is the only supermarket brand I've found palatable.
posted by smilingtiger at 9:28 AM on June 14, 2012

Another vote for Holy Land. I don't even like typical hummus very much but their spinach and jalapeno flavors are super delicious. I like to use it in sammiches.

I'm not so sure about availability, but I've seen it for sale at local Kowalski's and co-ops. And at the Holy Land store itself, of course (in NE Minneapolis).
posted by neckro23 at 10:07 AM on June 14, 2012

I don't know that it's the best in town, but if you're doing a taste test I'd certainly include the hummus from Emily's Lebanese Deli, which I remember with great affection from my Twin Cities days.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:08 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

The very best hummus I have ever had is Deena's Roasted Red Pepper and Feta. It's made here in St. Paul, can be found at Kowalski's (I discovered it a farmer's market in Minneapolis), and will make the inside of your mouth do a happy dance.
posted by WaspEnterprises at 10:12 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I love Cava Mezze spicy hummus, which I get at Whole Foods. No idea if it's the house brand that people here are referring to.

They also make a tabbouleh that, with tomatoes and Stacy's pita chips, is a cornerstone of my diet.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:13 AM on June 14, 2012

Deena's Deena's Deena's Deena's Deena's Deena's... Deena's. The website lists the grocery stores you can find it at - even some Cub Foods.
posted by Maarika at 10:21 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

I much prefer hummus made with olive oil (Cedars, oh how I miss you) to hummus made with canola or soybean oil (Sabra, Tribe). Canola-based hummus always tastes slightly off to me and, in a couple of containers of Sabra, it has smelled like it's about to go rancid.

The fruitiness of the olive oil balances the tahini better; canola's basically a non-entity, but the oil is in hummus for flavor as well as for smoothness.
posted by catlet at 10:57 AM on June 14, 2012

Another vote for Holy Land, which you can get here in the twin cities even in some of the huge grocery stores (Rainbow, Cub), as well as the more obvious spots like the coops, fancier grocers, and the Holy Land store. If you do go to their store to get hummus, plan your visit around a trip to the lunch buffet that they also run. Yum.

That said, I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Athenos hummus yet. It's probably not the most authentic, definitely much more fluffy compared to the creaminess of Holy Land, but I can go through a tub of the roasted red pepper flavor by myself in an afternoon. And it's at all the grocery stores, even Targets with groceries.
posted by vytae at 11:28 AM on June 14, 2012

1. Holy Land
2-3. (tie) Wedge Co-op/Seward Co-op deli hummus
4-10. All other brands available in MN
11. Sabra. YUCK.
posted by FrauMaschine at 11:51 AM on June 14, 2012

FWIW, I find Trader Joe's regular hummus to be way too lemony.
posted by rhizome at 12:06 PM on June 14, 2012

I don't know that it's the best in town, but if you're doing a taste test I'd certainly include the hummus from Emily's Lebanese Deli, which I remember with great affection from my Twin Cities days.

Oh lord, yeah. Whenever I travel down to the Twin Cities, Emily's is the place I eat out at more often than any other by a wide margin. Not a fancy place by any stretch but the food is really good, and cheap and it just feels comfortable.
posted by edgeways at 12:45 PM on June 14, 2012

Sabra is my go-to packaged supermarket hummus; specifically their pine nut flavor. I'm usually not a fan of hummus that's been overly-messed-with (I'm sick to death of red pepper hummus), but holy jeebus is their pine nut flavor good. And it's available all over. I'm sure there's much better brands, but of the options at my local grocery stores, I haven't come across one yet that I prefer.
posted by kryptondog at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2012

1 can of garbanzos, rinsed
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1/4 olive oil
3/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon juice

blend in food processor
posted by jockc at 5:17 PM on June 14, 2012

You already indicate that you know how and enjoy making it, but that time is the issue. And that you plan to do a blind taste test. If you're really going to do that, may I suggest you buy the dry hummus mix from the bulk section and whip it up per instructions? Seriously, just add hot water. You decide if you want it more lemony or oily or whatever. It might surprise you (it did me).

You never know...if you're conducting a test, why not try it? If it is even a contender and you always keep the dry mix on hand, then hummus is only a stir away.

Fantastic Foods makes one option.

I think we'd all like to hear the results of your blind taste test.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 5:49 PM on June 14, 2012

I came in here specifically and only to mention locally-made DEENA'S HUMMUS and I am SO glad that other people have mentioned it.

I LOVE hummus, I do not take it lightly. YES, Holy Land is good. But Deena's is FUCKING AMAZING. All the flavors are good but red pepper and feta is my absolute favorite. The black bean and chipotle one is ALSO amazing (but I don't know if it realistically can be called hummus as it has no chickpeas, but whoa, good).

I just replenished my Deena's supply tonight at Lunds (the new one downtown on Hennepin, which just opened today!), but as mentioned, Kowalski's also sells it as does Byerlys (I think).

posted by triggerfinger at 7:10 PM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

As a Minneapolis native I will chime in to recommend Holy Land, but I will note that my wife and I feel its quality has declined. They changed their packaging last year and at the same time the hummus became less creamy and emulsified and the taste is not as refined.

Also, homemade hummus is awesome tasting, but if you prefer your hummus super-creamy it's really hard to get that in a food processor at home.
posted by werkzeuger at 10:11 AM on June 15, 2012

Response by poster: So, our taste test included five brands: Deena's, Holy Land, Sabra, Dino's, and Athenos. We already had the Dino's in the fridge and the other four were easy to find at a local grocery store. The overall winner and the one that my wife and I liked best was Sabra. I was quite surprised, as I expected to prefer Holy Land. Deena's didn't do particularly well. I've been thinking about that and have a theory. We read the package after the test and noticed that Deena's is made without Tahini and instead includes Feta cheese. On its own, it might be a great tasting spread, but when tasted with four other more conventional hummus brands the lack of the tahini made it stand out. It was much less viscous and lacked some of the hummus flavor.
posted by Area Man at 4:48 AM on June 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

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