I have recently, due to both personal interest and class requirements, have written a few entries in a food blog format. From the people who have read them so far, I have gotten really good feedback - so I thought I would try my hand at publishing some of them. So go out, support a local business, and enjoy!
Sitting in the corner booth of the clamorously loud hipster café One World on Bradley University's campus is always an excellent source of people-watching, eavesdropping, and whatever else I might do while waiting for a meal. On a busy day, the service can be considered borderline slow, but the tan blob of mush sat in front of me on an oversized ceramic plate is always well worth the wait.
On first glance, the meal really does look less than appetizing; although the One World chef tried his or her best with presentation, trying to evenly layer all of the goo on the white plate and making sure the left-over spoon dollop is centered on the plate to be filled with a pool of virgin olive oil. The otherwise bland colored dish is offset with a sprinkling of paprika on top to add a pop of burnt-orange color. In a wicker basket on the side of the plate, the server places a handful of triangular pita slices wrapped in a pristine white napkin. But don't let the mushy appearance fool you: this is a simplistic hipster presentation of One World's most well-known appetizer: Hummus and Pita.
Grabbing and folding the first triangle of warm pita into the perfect-scooping-cone shape, perfected by years of personal practice is a work of art. From extensive practice, I have determined the best method is to dip the longest point of the triangle into the hummus dish first, scoop, and make two dips into the hummus per pita slice. Yes, I double dip. Although if I am sharing, I do have the common courteously to dip with the flat backside of the triangle on the second trip.
When scooping, I start from a side and work my way across the circular plate. I have yet to decide if this is a visible example of my more OCD-like qualities, but I tell myself I do this because it allows for the pool of olive oil to slowly spill over the side of its spoon-shaped shores and spread across the remainder of the hummus. The perfect pita scoop is half-covered with hummus, dipped in olive oil, and has a tiny bit of paprika included in the bite.The first bite brings with it the warm sensation of the pita. This is one of the most comforting signals of being home. As soon as the bread makes contact with my tongue, it begins to dissolve, and I get my first taste of the hummus. While it may not have looked like much in terms of color or texture, the hummus makes up for it in taste. The slightly lumpy texture and roasted taste of the chickpeas offset perfectly with the smooth, bitter olive oil. But the pop of peppery taste from the paprika is what sets One World's Hummus above all the rest. This simple appetizer, surprisingly simple, is always a staple of my three-hour trip home.