If you’re a Whole Foods shopper, you might have noticed tubs of hummus and chimichurri from a brand called Sound Bites have joined the ranks of global dips on grocery shelves. (Sound Bites’ products are also available at Seattle farmer’s markets—schedule here.)
The spreads are the work of local duo Richard Hines and Stephen McConkey who back in March 2008 began their quest to create a business model that would link Northwest farmers directly with the customer.
Instead of using the traditional olive oil—which is imported—Hines and McConkey purchase grapeseed oil from AprèsVin in the Yakima Valley.
They use it in three kinds of hummus: white bean hummus with chardonnay oil, red bean with merlot oil and garbanzo hummus with riesling oil, and two kinds of chimichurri con cabernet sauvignon oil or lime riesling oil.
I recently organized an informal taste test of the locavore product to see what Seattle Met staff thought of the sauces and spreads. The chimichurri—an Argentinian invention that has parsley, garlic, red onion and pepper flakes—went over well. Soundbite’s has a limey acidic tang that would make for a great grilling marinade.
Hard-core hummus lovers might find the grapseed oil a little overpowering, however. As one Seattle Met editor put it: “Why are you messing with my hummus? I don’t need a wine taste!”
SoundBites is constantly trying new recipes and products—most recently pesto sauce and whole-wheat crackers, available at their farmer’s market stands.
Try ‘em on out, and let us know what you think.