Hummus is what? Yes, simple and uncomplicated because it’s easy to make with so few ingredients and “umami,” which means “delicious” or “yummy” in Japanese. Yet there’s a little more to umami.
Umami is the difficult-to-define “fifth taste”. In the Western world, we have only four basic tastes: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter. Umami, a fifth taste from Asia, is savory, complex, and yummy! It’s hard to translate, delicious in a salty savory kind of way. You know how it is when you taste something that is so filled with savory taste that you can’t wait for the next bite.
I like this definition from The Herb Farm.
In Shinto and Zen Buddhist religions, each food’s natural flavor, color, shape, and aroma are considered a gift from nature to be enjoyed and revered. This combination of qualities is a food’s umami.
• Umami can involve all the senses: sight, smell, touch, hearing, and taste.
• Umami wakens positive emotions.
• Umami can have cultural, spiritual, and even mystical aspects.
• Education, experience, and understanding elevate and refine our taste and our perception and enjoyment of umami.
• Umami contains a promise of pleasurable outcome.
• Umami conveys a sense of beauty.
• Anticipation enhances umami.
When I put together a table of appetizers I always make sure to include hummus in the mix. Maybe hummus isn’t exactly precisely what you’d term umami but it’s delicious, healthy and kids seem to really like it, too. And for me it fits the above requirements! Hummus can be a little expensive at the grocery stores, especially if it’s has roasted red pepper sauce on top. I thought it might be too complicated to make myself until I discovered a recipe this summer. It’s just too easy which puts it in the Zen Meal category.
Hummus is simplicitly at it’s best. Just 6 ingredients. Blended in minutes and all for the price of a can of garbanzo beans and a jar of tahini which is roasted sesame seeds made into a paste.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons of tahini
1 can of garbanzo beans or chickpeas
1/2 teaspoons of salt
1/4 cup of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans
Put all the ingredients in the food processor. Mix until all the ingredients are smooth. You’re done. Amazing!
Dip carrots, crackers, brocoli, carrots and radishes.
I also put some roasted red peppers from a jar in the food processor with garlic, a little lemon juice and a dash of olive oil to put it on top the hummus. But only do this if you have a few extra minutes!
“UMAMI!” is all I can say!
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