Ethical Eating

I'm Eating What?! Baba Gannouj

​Perhaps you've already heard of this stuff and possibly even tried it once or twice. But have you ever tried it from a can? If so, humor us. If not, open up your minds and your mouths, masters and mistresses, for you may find this seasoned eggplant spread is a tasty alternative to that packaged hummus you keep stashed in the deepest reaches of your refrigerators. Or maybe you won't.

We can't think of anything that comes from a can that tastes nearly as good as the fresh, real deal. But really, when was the last time you were able to pick up baby corn in the produce section? Exactly. So sometimes you just have to wing it and go for the stackable stuff. Besides--it is coming up on hurricane season once again, so you should get a little creative in case you have to feast on preserved stuff for a week straight.

Baba ganouj or baba ganoush, baba ghannouj or even baba ghannoug--same damn thing--is usually a mix of roasted, peeled and mashed eggplant with tahini, salt and lemon juice. Sometimes people carve out a little scoop in the center and pour olive oil into it. And it is often gussied up with everything from parsley to pomegranate seeds. Throw it on some pita and you've got yourself a feast.

Fortunately it's not too difficult to find fresh baba ghanouj on the menus at Middle Eastern restaurants and in the coolers at their adjoining markets, so we suggest you get that as opposed to this canned stuff. It was edible, for sure, but we found it a little too smoky, tangy, and loose.  

Who should eat this? Folks who are too f-ing lazy to puree their own damn eggplant. 

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Riki Altman