Slide Menu Navigation Slide Menu Navigation

FRESH and Festive

If you like hummus, you need to try Lilly’s Hummus, which comes to us from Portland, Ore. Lucky for you, we’re sampling this yummy brand today and tomorrow, and every weekend in May, in our grocery aisles.

Lilly’s, named after the wife of company founder Michael Miscoe, has six varieties, including smoked tomato and basil, roasted jalapeno and roasted red pepper. What’s cool about this hummus is that they not only get their tomatoes, jalapenos and peppers from local growers, they roast them all themselves.

In fact, Miscoe told me, he came up with the idea to produce hummus five years ago so he’d have something to do with roasted vegetables. Miscoe is an engineer by training,  and a few years ago he developed a firelog made of hazelnut shells. He then tried cooking with the hazelnut logs, and realized they imparted a rich, nutty flavor to smoked and roasted foods. Soon, he’d developed hazelnut-shell briquettes and was using them to roast vegetables.

But you can only eat so many roasted veggies. At first, he was making just salsas, but after trying out some homemade hummus at a Portland farmer’s market a few years ago, it became a huge hit. Now Lilly’s Hummus is sold in specialty markets throughout the western U.S. It’s still made in the Portland facility, where Miscoe makes sure they compost and recycle a majority of the materials they use to produce the hummus.

Every variety starts with organic garbanzo beans, and uses just simple, natural ingredients – no thickeners or artificial flavors. (Just read the ingredient list; the original, for instance, has nothing more than organic garbanzo beans, olive oil, sesame tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic, and a bit of citric acid.) They make a great dip for pita chips, crackers or fresh crisp vegetables, or a tasty mayonnaise alternative for a sandwich or wrap.

Miscoe says his favorite flavor is the roasted jalapeno. What’s yours? Come sample some and find out.