Yashar Nijati—known as Yash—was lucky to try hummus for the first time in Allepo, Syria, which set the bar pretty high. Upon returning home to Vancouver following a summer in Beirut, Abu Gosh, Jaffa, and Amman in 2009, Yash found that the same love and attention to hummus simply didn't exist at home, so he started cooking up his own recipe.
Fast forward to October 2012 to lunch at Harvest Community Foods in Vancouver. The market carries local artisanal goods and is run by the exceptional local chef, Andrea Carlson. She happened to be in that day and Yash asked if she would to try his homemade hummus. At this point, it was just a sample—the product didn't exist yet. He just happened to make good hummus and he liked giving it to friends.
Following lunch that day, Yash went home, sketched a label, borrowed a friend's restaurant space to produce the first batch of Classic Yummus and started giving away all the product he could. "The name Yummus instantly came to mind," Yash explains. "It was a natural choice and a surprise that the brand did not exist." We're delighted to say that the punny name stands up to the taste test. We consider the Classic flavor just about the best packaged hummus we've ever had—its citrus finish keeps it clean without overwhelming the garlic or tahini. Yummus' creamy texture is perfect across all the varieties, and the Smoked and Moroccan Spice flavors have a boldness that dramatically overpowers bland supermarket alternatives.
Yash's idea for the packaging was executed by Vancouver designer Josh Nychuck. Together they chose glass jars to reduce plastic waste and to give customers the purest tasting hummus. Yummus has become a staple at Harvest Community Foods and Le Marche St. George since March, and recently hit the shelves of Organic Acres. Currently found only in Vancouver, the hummus comes in three flavors, and a fourth is in the works but remains a secret for now.
Images by Lauren Espeseth