Voted #1 by the Chicago Tribune

The Results

  1. Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine (7.5)
  2. Athenos (7.3)
  3. Tribe Organic (6.5)
  4. Sabra (5.5)
  5. Trader Joe’s (5.3)
  6. Whole Foods (4.5)
  7. Chef Earls (4.3)
  8. Cedar’s (3.8)

* Products are scored on a scale of 1 to 9 with 9 being the highest, as rated by the Chicago Tribune on March 19, 2008.

Hummus, that Middle Eastern spread starring chickpeas, oil, and sometimes tahini (sesame seed paste), isn’t hard to make but it’s even easier to buy. The number of brands is increasing and so are the flavors. Maybe that’s no surprise. Hummus (also spelled hommos) is healthful and delicious (as a sandwich spread or veggie dip, for starters) and low in fat and calories; few brands in our tasting exceeded 25 calories per tablespoon.

We zeroed in on red pepper hummus, and were astonished not only by the number we found (eight) but also by the great variation in color, texture and flavor.

The winner, Oasis Mediterranean Cuisine, was purchased at Whole Foods Market. Tasters loved its flavor, texture and authenticity; it also had the fewest calories per tablespoon (14). It was followed by two familiar supermarket brands: Athenos placed a close-behind second, Tribe finished third.