Hand Crafted Food: Everbean Hummus in Jville

December 6, 2014 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Imran Siddiqui is the creator of Everbean Hummus, and he is launching his pretty awesome startup this week in Jville. His food has been passed around, sampled and loved in the hipster and foodie circuits of Riverside, where a whole range of fusion hummus concepts have been tried and tested to pretty much universal acclaim. Join us for more--including photos by Chelleby Starr-- after the jump!

Imran Siddiqui the creator of Everbean Hummus
photo by Chelleby Starr

Everbean's official restaurant debut will happen on Monday at Bold Bean Coffee in Riverside, which has been one of the leading forces behind the craftsman and handmade food movement in this city.  The iconic little hub will be featuring a sampling of the carefully crafted recipes and hummus variations with a side of pita chips, but (like all handmade foods) they must be tried to be appreciated.

Hummus is one of the most popular and traditional foods in the world, and its been around for a sodden long time.  Now that we all live in a vastly more connected universe, where traditions, foods, dances and ideas are transmitted and absorbed with just a few internet choices, it has gotten a much wider audience than just its birthplace in the middle east.

And like almost everything else, it is going through a process of being rebooted, experimented with, adjusted, and reinvented in kitchens around the planet.  Its odd that a food sticks around for thousands of years and then suddenly explodes into reinterpreted versions simultaneously.

There are some pretty good reasons for this, one supposes. Hummus is a useful food in vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. When hummus is eaten with bread it serves as a complete protein, similar to other combinations of grains and legumes. Hummus is high in iron and vit?min C, and has beneficial amounts of both vitamin B6 and folate. It is also a good source of protein, fiber and potassium. Due to the fact that chickpeas and sesame seeds are so beneficially healthy for us, and that it has been apart of the human diet for thousands of years, it is no wonder hummus has become known as a nutritionist’s delight.

The core ingredients of lemon, cumin, garlic, and olive oil – and even the distinctive tahini sesame paste – can be mixed with chickpeas for a traditional hummus or even with vegetables like roasted beets or zucchini to achieve a similar texture and flavor.

Hummus does not need to be made with chickpeas.  In fact, it can be made with all types of vegetables from roasted beets or sweet potato to raw zucchini or pumpkin.  Hummus makers have long tinkered with the ingredient list. (Although. recently U.S. hummus making corporation Sabra filed a petition with the Food and Drug Administration asking it to define hummus as "spread made with chickpeas and tahini.")  It’s kind of a dick move intended to force competitors to come up with a new name for dips made with such non-traditional legumes as black beans, edamame or lentils.

photo by Chelleby Starr

Imran's approach to Hummus is definitely one which prizes the quality of ingredients, bold spice and flavoring notes, and fresh takes on the base legume.  Its not all just Chickpeas with Everbean.  The offerings include Hummus made with Kidney, Cannellini, Pinto, Mung, Fava, Lentil, Butter and Black Beans.  They are stridently flavored with Curries, Kalamata Olives, Society Garlic, Chipotle peppers and even Bacon.  The base is an imported Tahini, and the attention to detail goes all the way down to the handmade and imported salts used in the production of the base.  Below you can see a provisional menu offering with the large variety of flavors available.  Its fantastic.

photo by Chelleby Starr

I recently met up with Imran during a photo shoot especially arranged for Metrojacksonville with Chelleby Starr, the photographer author of Urban Angels and herself one of the more interesting and flamboyant artists of the Riverside Arts scene.  She got a pretty good range of Sexy Hummus Maker shots (vintage Starr photos, of course) after we chatted about his awesome product.

Imran Siddiqui is 25 years old, and was raised by his mother in Kentucky.  All of his recipes are original to him and he started the business in the kitchen of Freda's Cafe in Riverside, and the offering at Bold Bean marks his first appearance in a public restaurant.  But it will not be his last. He hopes to expand through Jacksonville, Amelia Island and St. Augustine.

Once people try his hummus, no one is disappointed. The product is gourmet all the way. -imported tahini, exotic salts from around the world, local beans from scratch, small batched, and intricate, unique, vegetarian and vegan flavors.  

You can try them yourself at Bold Bean, or by ordering from Everbean yourself starting Monday, December 8.
Click here for the Everbean Hummus Page.
And of course Bold Bean's wonderful Facebook page click here.

Article by Stephen Dare
Photos by Chelleby Starr

photo by Chelleby Starr

Some of the recipes that will be available

How to Make Hummus the Palestinian Way

The History of Hummus

The word hummus, (which has various spellings) is an Arabic word meaning “chickpea.” Hummus is an Arab dip or spread that is made from chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) that have been cooked and mashed, then blended with tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt.

Chickpeas are a vegetable that have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years. Some sources say that they were growing in the gardens of Babylon.

Pretty much every society in the Fertile Crescent claims to be the place where hummus originated. The fact is, because hummus has been around for so long(and in so many different forms), the exact origin has been lost to antiquity. There is even an old folklore tale in which hummus is described as one of the oldest known prepared foods. Still others claim that hummus was first prepared in the 12th century by Saladin, (not likely).

While the origin of hummus is unclear, we do know that chickpeas, the main ingredient of hummus, have been cultivated for several thousand years. The chickpea was consumed in ancient Palestine, and was one of the earliest crops in Mesopotamia. It was a common street food in ancient Rome. Plato and Socrates made reference to the nutritional value of hummus in their writings. Very ancient recipes for hummus have also been discovered.

Article by Stephen Dare
Photos by Chelleby Starr