A Simple Game (Issue 987)

In which we are encouraged to raise continuously our performance through study and practice.

I’m particularly…. PARTICULARLY…fond of hummus. In a given week, I might consume two to three pounds of the stuff. Early on, The Sultan’s Kitchen restaurant in Boston produced my favorite hummus, most often consumed in the form of a “hummus and tabbouleh” sandwich that was my special treat – in a half pita, two cups of hummus, about a cup of tabbouleh, some chopped tomatoes, topped with crumbled feta cheese. All I could do to finish it.  No other hummus so delighted me.

And, then, I was introduced to the hummus at the Carousel restaurant in Glendale, CA. Different style. Amazingly good.  AMAZINGLY good. In fact, if you search “Carousel Best Hummus on the Planet” you’ll find the review I wrote after an enormous lunch at the Carousel.

After the Sultan’s Kitchen closed in 2018, I drifted for a couple of years in a hummus depression, satisfying myself with the merely adequate national brands of hummus, occasionally tasting one or another ‘artisan’ hummus offerings at farmers markets around Boston, never finding the desired satisfaction.

But, now, I’m revived. Since Sultan’s is closed and the Carousel is 2,978.2 miles away, I’m on a mission in Boston to recreate the thrill of their hummus.

One of my favorite lines from the movie Bull Durham comes when the Durham Bull’s coach, Skip (reflecting great frustration with his team’s performance), says, “Baseball is a simple game. Y”ou throw the ball, you hit the ball, you catch ball.”  He’s right. It is a simple game….and we all know that doing it successfully in the Major Leagues is more complicated than that.

Making hummus is a simple game. You cook the peas, you blend the peas (with tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil, and lemon), you serve the peas. And, it turns out, doing it at a “best on the planet” level is more complicated than that.

I started my mission with several batches based on The Sultan’s published recipe. Measured everything exactly.  The resulting hummus was good… but not the hummus I remembered. Not creamy enough. Not crisply zippy enough.

So,  I compared hummus recipes – Israeli hummus, Greek hummus, Lebanese hummus, Turkish hummus. The ingredients are the same. The proportions differ slightly. The preparation steps are almost indistinguishable. There’s just not an obvious “big thing” I’m missing.  So, there’s something about the quality of the ingredients, the nuances of the proportions, the WAY the ingredients are prepared, the sequencing, the timing, and, possibly, the blending equipment – that accounts for the difference. Making hummus is a simple game… and there is so much to learn.

Sales is a simple game…

Nick Miller and Clarity train banks and bankers to attract and develop deeper relationships with small businesses. Many more Sales Thoughts like this and a host of other articles and resources at https://clarityadvantage.com/knowledge-center/ .

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