With the upcoming General Election in the UK, the French Presidential Election, constant threats of nuclear war and terrorism; the hummus shortage that’s been sending the nation into a frenzy does seem somewhat trivial. News of a UK ‘hummus crisis’, nonetheless, still managed to find its way onto the front pages of yesterday’s newspapers.
Reports have suggested that a number of UK supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have suffered a “crisis”, in which stocks of hummus have been completely depleted due to “taste issues”, with some complaining about a “metallic taste”.
Since stripping shelves of hummus, a Sainsbury’s spokesperson has since commented: “We’ve temporarily removed a number of hummus lines from sale due to a production issue at our supplier. We expect to be fully stocked within a couple of days and are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”
In addition, Sainsbury’s have claimed that the issue is not a food safety issue, so has not been reported to the Food Standards Agency. Tesco are still yet to comment, though an M&S spokesperson has said: “Some of our hummus products were temporarily taken off shelf due to a supplier issue. We can reassure customers that our recipe hasn’t changed and that hummus is now back in store.”
Since then, Twitter has turned into a carnival of memes, hysteric Emojis and pictures of empty supermarket shelves. The hashtag #firstworldproblems has never before seemed so fitting. So, in light of this so-called crisis, why not make the outrageously simple dip at home?
For a simple hummus recipe, you’ll need just tinned chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, salt, extra virgin olive oil and tahini (sesame paste available from most supermarkets). In addition, you’re welcome to finish the dish with some toasted cumin seeds ground with a pestle and mortar (season to taste, a little will go a long way), a sprinkle of smoked paprika, or even a handful of chickpeas to add texture.
You will need a blender or food processor
Chickpeas, 200g tin
Garlic, 3 cloves
Extra virgin olive oil, 4tbsp
Water, 30ml, approximately
Sea salt, a pinch
Lemon juice, a squeeze, to taste
Smoked paprika, optional
Cumin seeds, optional
Drain the chickpeas and rinse. Add around 2/3 of the tin to the blender/food processor.
Add the garlic, tahini, salt, a squeeze of lemon juice, water and 2tbsp of the oil to the blender/food processor and pulse. The ingredients should form the consistency of a creamy puree. If the puree is too dry, add more oil. If the puree is too watery, add more chick peas.
If using toasted cumin seeds, add now and blend. Taste the hummus for seasoning (you may want to add more lemon juice, salt or garlic).
Remove the hummus and set on a serving dish and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. At this stage, the dip is ready to eat.
Alternatively, make a well in the middle of the dish and add a handful of whole chickpeas. If you have omitted the toasted cumin, sprinkle the dish with a pinch of smoked paprika.