The Hummus Experience is clever & delicious
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 00:09
The heat was tangible last night at The Hummus Experience, where scores of students tried their hand at creating their own unique versions of one of the most-loved spreads known to humanity.
The competition, which seemed close to implosion even in the spacious Rome Commons Ballroom, required participating teams to create their vaunted recipes on location before dozens of student palates eager to sample the fare.
Despite the eclectic backgrounds of the chefs at work, the winning team would see their hummus reproduced in dining halls across campus (along with an awe-inspiring year’s supply of hummus). Talk about fame.
The tables all had their own aesthetic, which reflected the uniqueness of their culinary work. Most teams had amusingly clever names and all of them had sparse remnants of sacrificed vegetables and peppers which had the desired effect of immediate salivation. Better yet, the contestants were not afraid to go bold.
One table, for example known to the event as “the chick peas”, utilized guacamole as their core ingredient.
“It’s a fiesta in your mouth,” said Ali Giarratano, a 5th-semester communications major. Another team, participating under the banner “Hummy We’re Home,” derived their punny title from their inherent status as housemates. Lying suspiciously dormant on their table was the head of an alligator, and their jalapeno-based recipe reflected the no-holds-barred ferocity of the Bayou.
“We’ve been living and breathing hummus,” said Devon Thatcher, a 7th-semester actuarial science major, wearing a self-made “860” t-shirt that matched the rest of her troupe.
As the night winded down, five finalists were chosen via the power of the vote, where contestants then faced an experienced panel of tasters who would deliberate on which hummus was best.
Gary Wolff, director of Hillel House and one of the chosen panelists, cited “authenticity, taste [and] texture” as the three cardinal virtues he was looking for in hummus, or more succinctly, “something I’d put on a sandwich.”
Dennis Pierce, the head of Dining Services, stressed the importance that “every ingredient put something on the table.” His intent, he said, was “looking for a balance,” a flavor of hummus which gives hints of several flavors throughout the tasting experience, without one overshadowing any other.
After careful deliberation, “Humm City”, friendly group of campus tour guides that sculpted a hummus Pierce were lauded as “a classic recipe.”
Upon their victory, teammates Anthony Sacco, Daniel Armendariz, Erica Lieb, Lauren Bent and Taylor Fitzpatrick were understandably ecstatic.
“We committed hummicide,” exclaimed Sacco, a 5th-semester economics major and business minor, in arguably the best hummus pun of the night.