Thursday, March 1, 2012

Identifying the Source of the Problem

I simply cannot be trusted with hummus. For this reason, I try not to have it in the house. If it's here, I easily succomb to its Siren Song, which results in me eating the entire container, no matter how large it is, within a day or 2. And I don't need no pansy pita or crudite! No sir, I go at it with a spoon, the way normal people would eat a bowl of chowder.

I was planning to make Pasta With Chickpeas and Charred Tomatoes for dinner this week, a delicious, but bizarre recipe which calls for hummus. I was still feeling guilty for some major sins I committed on Oscar Night, mostly having to do with a gigantic platter of Ultimate Vegan Nachos, so I knew it wasn't reasonable to bring a vat of irresistible hummus into the house this week. I remembered that Trader Joe's carries a meal called the Middle East Feast, a product which has saved my vegan ass on many long plane trips. It contains just the amount of hummus I'd need to make the pasta dish. I figured I would eat the rest of the feast for lunch one day.... which is how I came to eat one of my Hated Foods today: Tabbouleh.

Normally, I just eat the falafel, pita and hummus, and throw that tabbouleh right into the garbage can. But I'm not allowed to do that anymore! So, I decided to really concentrate on the tabbouleh and figure out what is so off putting about it. I like most of the ingredients. It tastes largely of garlic and lemon, two of my favorite flavors. The texture is a bit unappealing, as it resembles wet lawn clippings. But the source of the problem is too much parsley!

I'm generally great with all kinds of herbs. Basil, mint, chives, sage, thyme, you name it! I even embrace the World's Most Divisive Herb: Cilantro. How can I be taken down by the most pedestrian herb of them all? I like parsley just fine in small doses. I cook with it every week. But somehow, a soggy forkful of the stuff is unsettling.

My Parsley Plan is simple. I almost always have some fresh parsley on hand. I'm just going to periodically eat sprigs of the stuff, to get better with the Full Parsley Experience, until I can handle it in large doses. And when I conquer parsley, I will have conquered tabbouleh.


  1. If it means anything, I don't like tabbouleh either.

  2. Tabbouleh is NOT supposed to have garlic. Tabbouleh = NO garlic.

    1. I do not doubt that the Trader Joe's tabbouleh I ate was not an authentic recipe, but it surely had garlic in it! The joker who wrote the Wikipedia entry also indicated that garlic is an optional ingredient. I can only assume some Americans monkeyed around with recipes and that is where the garlic came from. One day, I'll try some authentic tabbouleh! :-)