Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Making of Hummus

Once the crop leaves our field and goes to the warehouse, farmers usually don’t get a chance to see how their crop is used to make the actual end product. We know who buys our crops and that wheat will end up as flour or in bread, crackers, cookies, noodles, etc and that one of the uses for garbanzos (chickpeas) is to make it into hummus. So I am excited to show you how a new local company uses locally grown garbanzos (of which some are from the Anderson Farm) to produce fresh hummus with no preservatives.

I met Bronzestone Hummus owners, Tish and Heath at their manufacturing site, and their facility is located in a nearby town just 16 miles away from the Anderson Farm. Even though Tish and Heath had just gotten in from a successful marketing trip in Seattle, they were hard at work but took the time to show me around and answer questions.

The refrigerated truck to transport the hummus
Tish was excited to announce they had just signed on to provide their specialty hummus with Metropolitan Foods in Seattle, WA.  I'll list the other stores that also carry their product at the end of the blog.  She and Heath have working on this deal since July and the excitement was evident about their newest success.  Tish explained they were slowly moving into smaller grocery store chains to give their business a chance to accommodate the increased demand. 

A view of the commercial kitchen
Another view of the kitchen site
Their kitchen site was spotless and Heath was in the process of making a batch of hummus when I arrived.

The garbs had already been cooked and the garb cooker was in the cleaning mode.

Heath adding the onions into the caramelizing machine
 Heath had just started adding the onions in the caramelizing machine and even though it was only 9:30am, it smelled delicious and made me think I was hungry.
The onions just before the lid was closed to
begin the caramelizing process

Next I peeked into their cooler to have a look at the garbs that had been cooked and were being cooled prior to be processed.

The freshly cooked garbanzos that were cooling in the refrigerated cooler

 In one of the other tubs was a batch of sun dried tomato hummus waiting to be packaged.

Hummus that is ready for packaging
(this flavor is their sun dried tomato hummus)

A view of the tubs from within the cooler that contain
either cooked garbs or the finished product before packaging
Heath sealing the tubs of hummus
Tish explained they had just purchased this new sealing machine that Heath was using to provide a better seal for their product which means a better shelf life.  Tish advised that even though customers like having a product that contains no additives, they still expect a long shelf life.  I told her that when we buy their product it usually doesn't last more than a week around our house and that made her smile, but said that was not always the case with others.

The final product, yummmmm

As promised here is the list of stores that carry their gourmet hummus: Rosauers, Yokes, Huckleberries, Moscow Food Co-op, and now Met Foods in Seattle. 

To see an excellent video clip that shows more on how their hummus is made:

As always, thanks for stopping in and I hope you enjoyed the read. 
All my best, Gayle.

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