Well well, beet hummus – that’s apparently a thing we have now. Beets. Hummus. Beet hummus. Not hummus and beets or but hummus with beets, but hummus made from beets. It’s a real thing and we’re all just going to have to deal with it.
Long time readers of the blog know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with beets, or maybe more accurately, I have a self-destructive fascination with beets. Despite referring to them on more than one occasion as tasting like gelatin made with dirt, I nevertheless feel compelled to purchase each new and successively weirder beet product that Trader Joe’s puts out. They’re sort of like my anti-mango.
At any rate, for the above reasons, I picked up this unsettlingly purple tub of ground beet mush to see if it tasted as good as it sounds. The first thing I should clarify is, despite all my ranting and wailing, beets only make up a portion of this hummus. The first ingredient in this hummus, as in all true hummuses, is ground garbanzo beans, aka the chickpea. This has been blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and a few Mediterranean spices – aka the hummus you all know and love. It’s just that on top of this really solid base Trader Joe’s has decided to mix in beets. Tons of beets. And also beet juice.
Can you taste the beets in this hummus, you might be asking? Yes – yes you can absolutely can taste the beets. That potent yet somehow drab beet flavor grabs you by the tongue from the first bite and doesn’t let you forget it. “Beets”, as listed on the label, is the second ingredient – and you will notice it. This is augmented by the addition of beet juice and, in case you didn’t think that was quite enough beet, a hearty handful of extra beet chunks scattered liberally on top. Trader Joe’s apparently went into this one with the goal of ensuring that no one in the world could accuse their beet hummus of not being absolutely chockablock with non-stop beet action.
That said really, there’s nothing wrong with this hummus. It’s a regualar, run of the mill hummus across the board – it just has a bunch of beets in it. That’s really all there is too it, which drives me slightly crazy. It tastes just like ordinary hummus, except that you’ll taste beets when you first put it in your mouth and experience that long, distinctive beet aftertaste. I’m sure that there are some people in the world to whom this is somehow a selling point. If you’ve become bored by Trader Joe’s numerous other hummus offerings, if mere edamame hummus strikes you as humdrum, then this novel, beet-centric take on hummus may be just what you’re looking for.
To me, however, this beet hummus is like getting my car back from the mechanic and being told – “Good news. We’ve fixed everything and it’s running fine – and also we filled up the back seat with spiders.” It’s fine, I just really wish you had avoided taking that extra step.
As I say, I’m sure there are people out there who are excited by the prospect of integrating a root vegetable into their hummus routine. To those people I say go for it, this is the best beet hummus on the shelves. For me, however, I’ll be giving it a wide berth.
Would I Recommend It: Hypothetically I could recommend this to beet lovers, if ever I meet one.
Would I Buy It Again: Nope.
Final Synopsis: Hummus, but it tastes like beets.