Cook's Illustrated

Hummus, Elevated

In one of the last reviews he penned before his untimely death in 2018, Los Angeles Times restaurant critic Jonathan Gold wrote lyrically about the hummus at the city’s beloved Middle Eastern restaurant, Bavel:

“The seriousness of a Middle Eastern restaurant rests in its hummus. Grainy, vaguely sour hummus is OK to send off in your children’s brown-bag lunches, and the mayonnaise-y over-garlicked stuff may be exactly what you want to see alongside a takeout roast chicken… But the great kitchens, the ones that inspire hour-long drives and dinnertime haiku, tend to labor over their fragrant goo as assiduously as a French baker might over her baguettes.”

The hummus Gold spoke of is fundamental throughout the Middle East, where it’s often the focal point of a meal and entire careers are dedicated to its craft.

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