How different can one chickpea spread taste from the next? Dramatically different, as we discovered in our quest to uncover Oregon’s best hummus. A panel of tasters passed judgment on our hometown spreads based on consistency, freshness, and balance of ingredients—rating them between 0 (inedible) and 5 (glorious). The results, we hope, will aid you in sizing up the beige, uniform-looking tubs at your local supermarket. Choose wisely.
Sheridan Fruit Co.
The 101-year-old grocer, known for its budget prices, great meat, and no-BS attitude, makes the best hummus in the city by a long shot. Testers praised its intensely garlicky-good flavor (do not go on a date without brushing) and the unbelievably silky consistency. One tester suggested bathing in it. $3.99 at Sheridan Fruit Co.
The Runner Up
It’s unsurprising that Portland’s Middle Eastern culinary royalty (the owners are part of the family that includes Ya Hala, Barbur World Foods, and Nicholas Restaurant, among others) turns out a solid contender, with a creamy consistency and fresh garbanzo bite. “Tastes luxe,” wrote one tester. $5 at World Foods
Testers praised this “everyday workhorse hummus,” which “plays nice” with chips and veggies, and delivers a good lemon zing. We loved Great Cedar’s lime-cilantro flavor, which offered a “puckery, fiesta-style hummus.” $3.99 at Zupan’s Market
*It has been brought to our attention that Zupan's hummus is actually Great Cedar, with a fresh label slapped on. As such, the "Zupan's" brand has been removed from this list, and the score has been adjusted.
There was something about odd about Al-Amir, which has the dip-able texture of Miracle Whip, and a suspicious ranch-flavored tang. Described by one tester as “the sour cream frosting of the hummus world.” $4.59 at Zupan’s Market
This was the hummus that divided us. Pervasive in Portland, and known for its unrefined, grainy texture, King Harvest Hummus only received very low and very high scores. Some complained it was “thick,” “dry,” “gravelly,” and “like eating cement” while others praised its undeniably fresh garbanzo bean flavor and preferred its alternative texture. Likewise, King's balsamic vinegar-infused specialty flavor received mixed reviews. $3.59 at Zupan’s Market
Tasters complained it tasted “old” and “stepped on,” but appreciated its balance of acidity, salt level, and garlic. $3.99 at New Seasons
True Nature, identified by its orca whale stamp, was “watery and grainy,” and carried a “heavy olive oil taste.” 3.99 at New Seasons
Soringhart’s stale, bland chickpea “hummus” was a major bust. “Waterlogged,” “cardboard-ey,” and “rancid” were common objections. $3.19 at World Foods
Poor Lilly’s was rock bottom for our hummus testers. Tasters described a “chemically” flavor akin to a “tire fire” with an acrid, acidic after-bite. Their special tomato-basil flavor elicited gags and dry-heaves and was likened to “dirty hot dog water.” $2.50 at New Seasons
Did we miss your favorite hummus brand? Let us know in the comments below!