Hummus to French onion: Favourite dips put to the taste test

If you haven't swiped a carrot stick through a wheelbarrow's worth of dip by the end of summer, was it really a proper ...
If you haven't swiped a carrot stick through a wheelbarrow's worth of dip by the end of summer, was it really a proper party season?  Photo: Callan Boys

Nothing says party like the sight of a group happily huddled around a bowl of dip, even if it hasn't been blitzed from scratch. 

Here's a silly season guide to what's on offer at the supermarket.

French onion

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Aldi Deli Originals, French Onion, 250g

Needs more seasoning. Photo: Callan Boys

Aldi Deli Originals, 250g, $2.00

Score: 2.5/5

Passable among a smorgasbord of dips at a backyard barbie but too one-dimensional to enjoy with a box of crackers and a cheesy movie. This needs more seasoning and umami-charged onion powder.

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Black Swan French Onion, 200g.

Needs more onion. Photo: Callan Boys

Black Swan, 200g, $3.50

Score: 1.5/5

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Too much acid, not enough onion. Only 10 per cent onion in fact, compared with almost one-third allium in the Aldi and Ritz offerings. A high percentage of cream cheese means this can become quite sickly, quite quickly.

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Ritz Dipz French Onion, 185g. 

As good as supermarket French onion dip gets. Photo: Callan Boys

Ritz Dipz, 185g, $2.50

Score: 4/5

This may be as good as supermarket French onion dip gets. Tiny bits of rehydrated onion energise each bite and the base actually tastes like cream cheese. (The manufacturer also owns the Philadelphia brand.)

Hummus

Chris’ Dips Hummus, $3.50, Good Food Dip Taste Test.

Best reserved for office Christmas parties. Photo: Callan Boys

Chris' Dips, 200g, $3.50

Score: 2/5

A whack of vinegar almost saves Chris' chickpea mash from blandness but it leaves a sour aftertaste. Blended with canola oil, this is a dip best reserved for those office Christmas parties you don't want to be at.

Yalla Hummus, $6.79, Good Food Dip Taste Test.

Hits the sweet spot between thick and fluffy. Photo: Callan Boys

Yalla, 350g, $6.80

Score: 4/5

Yalla makes snack-worthy soups, yoghurts and salsas, and this preservative-free hummus hits the sweet spot between thick and fluffy. Featuring fresh lemon juice balanced by a backbeat of garlic. Top stuff.

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Obela Hummus, 220g.

This classic rendition is a smooth player. Photo: Callan Boys

Obela, 220g, $3.50

Score: 3.5/5

Obela are hummus specialists with more than 10 varieties. This classic rendition is a smooth player, buzzing with above-average tahini and presented with an attractive swirl in its plastic tub.

Taramasalata

Black Swan Tarama, $3.50, Good Food Dip Taste Test.

Shades of Peck's Anchovette paste. Photo: Callan Boys

Black Swan, 200g, $3.50 

Score: 1.5/5

If you're a fan of Peck's Anchovette paste, you'll love Black Swan's cured cod "caviar" dip with its injection of fish oil. If you don't enjoy the taste of canned tuna left in the sun, move along.

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Pilpel Taramasalata, 180g.

Bright burst of lemon and airy texture. Photo: Callan Boys

Pilpel, 180g, $6.00

Score: 4.5/5

A true blue winner with a bright burst of lemon and airy texture. Pilpel's tarama isn't overly fishy, so if you're chasing a big whiff of the ocean you could always enhance it with a spoonful of salmon roe.

Fresh Fodder Tarama, $5.29, Good Food Dip Taste Test.

Best paired with cucumber or celery. Photo: Callan Boys

Fresh Fodder, 200g, $5.30

Score: 4/5

A pleasant, lightly textured tarama suitable for all occasions. The Orange-based Fodder company isn't afraid of seasoning, meaning this is a dip better carried by cucumber or celery than a salty biscuit.

Tzatziki

Good Food Dip Taste Test.
Chris' Dips Tzatziki, 200g.

Excellent value. Photo: Callan Boys

Chris' Dips, 200g, $3.50

Score: 3.5/5

Founding his dip brand 35 years ago, Christos Tassios can be credited with putting tzatziki on picnic tables all over Australia. This cucumber-flecked yoghurt is sharp, refreshing and offers excellent value.

Fifya Tzatziki, $5.49, Good Food Dip Taste Test

Vegan tzatziki made from chickpeas. Photo: Callan Boys

Score: Fifya, 250g, $5.50

Score: 0.5/5

Did anyone ask for a vegan tzatziki made from chickpeas? Yes? No? Anyway, it's here and it's not very good. This is more of a herbed grey sludge than anything identifiable as tzatziki. Half a point for the amount of dill.

Paradise Beach Tzatziki, $7.99, Good Food Dip Taste Test.

Made from 94 per cent Australian ingredients. Photo: Callan Boys

Paradise Beach Purveyors, 200g, $8.00

Score: 4/5

The cucumber is plentiful and the yoghurt milky, flavoured by garlic and mint. Kudos to Paradise Beach for making this cooling tzatziki from 94 per cent Australian ingredients, too.

TIP

Enhance store-bought hummus with sumac, pine nuts and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.