HOUMOUS WEEK: Houmous Olympics

This week is houmous week. And why is it houmous week? Because I said so, hooray! This Middle Eastern, middle class delight has exploded (not literally) in popularity over the past decade and it’s not hard to understand why. So, join me and a few friends in saying a big thank you to the humble chickpea by eating as much of it as humanly possible. Over the next week I’ll be testing the chickpea to it’s very limits, I’ll be spreading it, cooking it, buying it, making it and of course eating shit tons of it, all in the name of science… Well not really in the name of science but that sounded good. Anyway, without further ado, lets kick off the festivities with a little contest I like to call ‘The Houmous Olympics’…

The Houmous Olympics:
My housemate and I are obsessed with houmous, we go through at least three or four pots a week. Our staple buy is currently ‘Sainsbury’s So Organic’ but think it’s time for us to broaden our houmous horizons and test some of the other major players on the market. Unfortunately, Aldi, Asda, Budgens, Co-op, and Morrissons will not be participating in this compitition because those supermarkets aren’t in Camden (and I wasn’t willing to get the bus to Holloway).

Each houmous will be tested by houmous enthusiast and housemate Isabelle, her boyfriend John, my best friend Johnny and myself. We’ll be judging the contenders on texture, value, flavour, eatability (yes I know that’s not a word but whatever) and… Oh that will do. Now, the contenders are:

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1. M&S Houmous With Extra Virgin Olive Oil £1 (200g)

2. Lidl (Meadow fresh) £1 (300g)

3.  Sainsbury’s So Organic Houmous £1.20 (200g)

4. WholeFoods (San Amvrosia Health Foods) £1.69 (142g)

5. Tesco Organic Houmous £1.05 (200g)

6. Waitrose Organic Rich & Creamy Houmous £1.25 (200g)

LET BATTLE COMMENCE!!!

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(Also, I’m aware that I perhaps picked the wrong table to do this on)

In 6th place…
M&S Houmous With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
What a surprise, Isabelle and I thought this one tasted like dust and vomit. It had the texture of cake mixture and paste and it unpleasantly coated our mouthes leaving a lingering rapeseed flavour, not pleasant. But at £1 it’s very reasonable, so if you’re skint and don’t mind the taste of sick, this houmous might be the one for you. 1/5

5th
Tesco Organic Houmous £1.05
Not much better, a very mousey mayonaisey texture, which again left our mouths feeling unpleasantly caked. Not quite so flavoursome but had a bitter artificial aftertaste. Too much sesame seed paste and not enough citrus, pretty sickly. 1/5

4th
Lidl (Meadow fresh) £1
This one was easily the best value but the pot didn’t come properly sealed which bothered me. Made me think there was some kid out back with a bucket of houmous just slopping it into plastic pots. The texture was very loose and sickie but the flavour wasn’t bad, very nutty. I found the tahini flavour overpowering, John thought it tasted like dog food but Isabelle really liked it. Mixed feelings. 3/5

3rd
WholeFoods (San Amvrosia Health Foods)
I LOVED this one, I’ve been going out of my way to buy this houmous for years, however it doesn’t stand up as well as I thought it would. It had a very subtle flavour but a lovely firm but smooth buttery texture. However, at £1.69 for what can only be described as half a pot it doesn’t deliver on value. Mildly disappointing. 4/5

2nd
Sainsbury’s So Organic Houmous
Coming in at a very impressive second place is my household fave, trusted old Sainsbury’s. This houmous is moreish without being sickly, it’s subtle flavour make it an all rounder, a serious crowd pleaser. It has a smooth but firm texture, I could happily eat an entire tub like a yogurt. I know, I’m a monster. 4/5

1st
Waitrose Organic Rich & Creamy Houmous
Okay so this houmous is the clear winner and the king of everything. It’s perfection, it has a beautifully smooth texture but is ever so slightly loose. It’s rich and flavourful without being sickly and has a fresh citrus after taste. Well done Waitrose, best £1.25 I ever spent. 5/5

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