Baby Zach’s Cajun Red Bean Smoked Hummus

You can’t grow up as close to Louisiana as I did without having many opportunities to enjoy Cajun food.  Spicy étouffée, hot beignets, muffalettas, and red beans are among my favorites.  I’ve also enjoyed my share of traditional hummus made from chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice and spices.  When I ran across Baby Zach’s Cajun Red Bean Smoked Hummus at Whole Foods, my taste buds went on high alert and I knew I had to try it.  A quick read of the ingredients was even more convincing.  It was the expected hummus recipe with a twist.  Swap red kidney beans for chickpeas.  Add classic Cajun spices plus something really unusual — applewood smoke.

I opened the hummus while the rest of the groceries were still in bags on the kitchen counter.  It looked a lot like the bean dip I’ve been eating since I was a kid, but the aroma was much more complex.  The taste was completely addictive.  It had the distinctive Cajun red bean flavor and the applewood smoke added another delicious layer.  I could have eaten the entire container at one sitting!

Baby Zach’s website touts his seven smoked hummus flavors:  Original, Black Bean, Roasted Red Pepper, Spicy Smoked BBQ, Black Bean with Jalapeño, Cilantro and Lime, Thai Curry and Cajun Red Bean.  They are made with natural products and do not contain any liquid smoke.  Baby Zach credits his trade secret “agitative barking process” for evenly smoking the hummus products.  I can’t even imagine what that process might be, but the end result is proof enough that it works.

Baby Zach had aspirations to be a doctor, but two serious car accidents derailed his medical education and reset his direction from “MD to chickpeas”.  With time on his hands, he began smoking brisket and ribs for friends and family.  Word spread and he was invited to sell his products at Austin’s prestigious SXSW Music Festival.  His smoked hummus was created to satisfy vegetarian tastes, and was soon a favorite at Austin area farmers’ markets.  Baby Zach’s products are available in select Whole Foods, Central Market, HEB, and other stores in Texas and Louisiana.  If you are outside the current market area, lobby your local grocer to carry Baby Zach’s Smoked Hummus!

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