The Pungent Pita Chip Swap For A Tastier Hummus Experience

Everyone loves a good pita and hummus combo. Since its origins in ancient Egypt, the pairing has grown to be a staple in regions all across the world — where you can find it served as an appetizer on the menus of American, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean restaurants alike. Pita chips, on the other hand, are equally as lovable. Crispy, bite-size, and available in family-size bags, they're a convenient and comparably more modern substitute to the bread that hummus is traditionally consumed with. Available in various flavors like garlic parmesan, jalapeño, and sea salt, it's not difficult to find yourself going through the entire bag in one sitting. But there's another option out there, one that's debatably even tastier with your hummus dip: raw onion slices.

Now, before you close your mind to the idea of dipping raw onion slices into hummus completely, you should know that this isn't some far-out idea. In fact, in Middle Eastern cities like Tel Aviv, some of the most renowned hummus spots serve their fresh hummus with a whole, raw, white onion on the table alongside it. It's a local secret from a city where hummus is the equivalent of a cultural emblem — and you've just been let in on it. You're welcome. Just keep in mind that you have to use the right type of onion.

Raw onions and hummus

If you think about it, onions aren't so different from the other foods you see commonly dipped into hummus. Like peppers, cucumbers, and your go-to bag of pita chips, onions deliver a crunchy bite that compliments or rather counteracts, the light, smooth, and fluffy texture of hummus. However, a red onion would be entirely too pungent to eat raw, and a yellow one would be just a touch too sharp. The case of your hummus calls for one type of onion and one type of onion only: the white variety. While they still carry a hint of tang, white onions are known to be much milder than other onions, which is why you often see them used raw for things like sandwiches and salsas.

For the best dipping experience, serve your onion in pita-sized shapes. You can then peel slices apart layer by layer and dip them one by one. The lemony flavor that's found in traditional hummus is said to offset any of the bitter or acidic flavors you'd expect from biting into a raw onion. So, while you may be hesitant initially, rest assured that each bite will be met with a satisfying snap and subtly tart flavor that, like your pita chips, you won't be able to get enough of. With this in mind, you may want to avoid varieties like dill pickle hummus in this scenario. Whether it's store-bought or homemade, stick to hummus that is simple and creamy instead.