In Texas, we are familiar with cured salmon, but don’t see much cured tuna. The taste, texture, and fatness of yellowfin tuna loin steaks differ from salmon, so does the result of curing it, even if you use the same recipe as for gravlax. In this recipe salt dehydrates tuna to a thick marmalade consistency during 24 hours of curing. Whiskey and spices contribute their specific flavors. If you use a peaty scotch or a combination of bourbon and Lapsang Souchong tea, you will have a note of smokiness in final product.
Talk to people from the Middle East about hummus, and the first thing you hear is that this dip in the U.S. is nothing like the one they enjoy at home. According to my Israeli friend, the right variety of chickpeas play the leading role. Latin American chickpeas are better for soups and salads because they are larger, firmer, and stay whole when cooked. The best for hummus are pea-size chickpeas known as Baladi in Israel. They become soft and easily smashed between fingers when cooked. Unfortunately, in the United States, all chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are labeled the same, unless you shop for them at ethnic stores. And even if you make a trip to an ethnic grocery store, Indian for example, the chickpea names will be specific to Indian cuisine — larger Kabuli and smaller Desi aka chana dhal. Choosing the right chickpeas variety is not really an option for an average grocery shopper who craves for amazing hummus. What is the option then?