episode 1: hummus heartache

I’m on a roasted veggies kick. They’re so good and so easy. Just get a bunch of pre-cut veggies from Trader Joe’s, lay them on a cookie sheet, roll them around in some salt/pepper/paprika/olive oil, throw it in the oven at 400 degrees. Sprinkle with feta, douse in hummus. Eat and enjoy.

Yesterday, I needed veggies. I needed feta. I needed hummus. So I went to Trader Joe’s.

Now when I say I needed hummus, I mean I needed one particular strain of hummus solely found at Trader Joe’s – “Mediterranean Hummus”. It’s a creamy blend of chickpeas and spices that produces an incredibly rich, savory flavor. And, to the joy of addicts, it comes packaged in a massive container. So you don’t run out of hummus as quickly. Because, we all know – that’s no fun.

On Thursday morning, I strolled into Trader Joe’s; wearing patterned gray workout leggings, a gray hooded zip-up, a massive handmade gray infinity scarf, and running shoes. I stood at the entrance debating between reaching for a mini red rolling carriage or a red hand basket. I settled on the basket.

I lifted the metal handles and made my way around the establishment. Almond milk, eggs, olive oil, feta, veggies. Placing each item intentionally into the hand basket, arranging them according to shape, size, and weight. The contents weighed it down and I regretted not springing for the carriage.

After I made my rounds, I stood with furrowed eyebrows in the center of the store, holding my heavy basket, convinced I had forgotten something but unsure of what it was. I then remembered the reason I came – the hummus.

Walking over to refrigerated section that houses all the hummus, I noticed a white guy eyeing the selection. I stood beside him to his left and joined him. After about 90 seconds, we switched places. I stood to his right, my eyes continuing to scale the selection up and down – beet hummus, horseradish hummus, roasted garlic hummus, cilantro and jalepeno hummus, sriracha hummus, plain hummus, edamame hummus. The list goes on.

But no Mediterranean.

“Did they change the packaging…?” I muttered under my breath.
“I don’t know! I don’t see it,” said the white guy.
“You’re looking for the Mediterranean too?” I asked.
“Yeah…” he said.
“I came here specifically for that one…” I said with a chuckle.
“Me too,” said he. “I’m gonna go ask them if they have some in the back.”

I waited while he walked to the back of the store, in the general vicinity of the double doors through which the employees enter and exit. I watched him ask an employee, who retrieved another employee. I watched this second employee walk away through the doors one way, then two minutes later walking back through them the same way she left, shaking her head. No Mediterranean hummus.

The white guy walked back. His demeanor told me we were out of luck.

Together, we debated which hummus to settle on. The employee attempted to sell him the snack pack sizes of the Mediterranean. But that variety comes packed in such small containers collectively with pita chips. We don’t need pita chips. We need a lot of hummus.

After several sighs, we both settled on the roasted garlic.

“Enjoy the rest of your day,” he said to me.
“You too!”