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Trying the Hummus

     I ordered a Margarita flatbread—gluten-free. No idea what it was. The description said something about mozzarella, tomato and something else on flatbread. I think maybe the something else was basil. So many new foods, new names… And not only new foods but new non-ingredients, like gluten-free. At least I knew what mozzarella and tomatoes are.

     Flatbread I've gotten to know. I always thought all bread was flat, but what do I know? Regular bread and flatbread do not look the same, although I have to say the Margarita flatbread was delicious. Wouldn't want to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with it, though.

     Gluten-free. I've never had a special craving for gluten. Probably because I don't know what it is. Lately 'most every package in the grocery store screams out "gluten-free." It's almost scary. What have I been eating all these years?

     Next thing you know I spy an article claiming gluten is a necessary element of good health—if you're not allergic to it—so I checked to see exactly what gluten is. Here's what I found at

"Gluten is a protein found in some grains, such as wheat, rye and barley. Gluten makes bread products chewy and gives them an elastic quality, so it is important to the making of baked goods. Gluten is the only protein found in food that is completely indigestible.Dec 10, 2015"

     So where does all that gluten go? Does it just make its way out of you without you knowing? And if I have to choose between chewy brownies and gluten-free non-chewy brownies, I think I'll go for the gluten. Luckily I'm not allergic to it. Some people do have a problem with it so it's good that's one more problem that's been identified and can be remedied.

     Enough with the gluten. The Margarita flatbread looked delicious, cut in four rectangles with light yellow mozzarella graced with a red tomato slice and green flakes of basil scattered about. The flatbread was plenty chewy—maybe they sneaked in some gluten—the mozzarella was very mozzarella-ish and the tomato was a bit soggy but that was okay. It looked pretty.

     And then there's hummus. I've been avoiding it for years. Two reasons: one, I don't know what it is, and two, it's supposed to be very healthy. Seems like every party I've been to lately has a hummus dip. I move right on over to the Ranch and bean dips because I like to know what it is I'm putting in my stomach. For you, and for future reference at parties, I looked it up. According to

"Hummus is a spread or dip made with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon juice and salt."

     Can't say I've eaten many chickpeas in my lifetime but I do know what olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and salt are. Tahini? Turns out it's a Middle Eastern paste, made from ground sesame seeds.

Last week I walked right up to the hummus dip at my son and daughter-in-law's party and took a healthy—no pun intended—swipe of it. Spread it on a cracker and went for it! Wasn't bad. A little sweet, a little sour. I moved on to the Ranch.

     The food world is changing. Soy milk, egg beaters, bacon from turkeys instead of pigs, hamburgers that aren't meat, monster drinks that give you an energy-high instead of a sugar-high; kale, edamame beans, tofu, sushi…  

     What I'm worried about is the day I look at a menu and don't recognize a thing on it.

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