Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honey, they shrunk the hummus can

Cans of hummus dip from Lebanon are flanked by sardines from Morocco.

When I stopped eating bread to lose weight, I also cut down on hummus, that wonderful Middle Eastern dip I loved to scoop up in warm pocket bread for a quick snack.

I don't bother making hummus with tahini from scratch, relying on a canned dip from Lebanon that needs only garlic powder, fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil.

Now, I've noticed the cans of Libano Verde dip I've been buying for years at Fattal's Bakery in Paterson shrank to 14 ounces from the original 15 ounces.

But the price also shrank to 99 cents from the $1.09 I paid for a 15-ounce can in September 2009.

99 cents sardines

There was more good news the last time I shopped at Fattal's at the beginning of May (975-77 Main St., 973-742-7125).

The supply of Al-Shark sardines from Morocco has been restored at the old price, 99 cents a can. They come in tomato sauce, as well as in regular and spicy vegetable oil.

For a while, I was buying those sardines from Brothers Produce in the Paterson Farmers' Market for $1 a can.

I also picked up two packages of crushed, mildly spicy Aleppo pepper for $6.99 a pound, and ground cumin for $4.99 a pound.

I use the red pepper on fish, fried eggs and omelets (see photo above). 

The cumin is wonderful in tuna or canned-fish salad, along with Dijon mustard, chopped celery  and fresh lemon or lime juice.

I use the sardines on salads or over pasta after heating them up in bottled red sauce seasoned with red-pepper flakes and dried Italian herbs.  

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