Beware the harissa paste, something I haven’t used in cooking before and never really worried about, but if you are allergic or intolerant to coriander – harissa paste could be one to watch out for.
Coriander isn’t one of the top fourteen allergens so would probably not be listed as an ingredient in harissa paste.
According to Wiki, Harissa paste is a Tunisian hot chili sauce whose main ingredients are piri piri (type of chili pepper), serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers and spices and herbs such as garlic paste, coriander, red chili powder, caraway as well as some vegetable or olive oil. Traditionally it’s used in Tunisian, Libyan, Algerian and more recently, Moroccan cooking.
I was eating a mouthful of humous this week, luckily just a tiny scoop on an oat cake and immediately my mouth said, WHOA!
Don’t eat this.
I stopped and rechecked the ingredients and (oh how I love my iphone) googled harissa paste, and discovered that all the places I checked it contained coriander.
Now whether that was just the peppers heating up my mouth and making it tingle, or whether it really was a mild reaction to coriander I’ll never know.
I know I cannot eat fresh coriander which gives me a nasty reaction, but can sometimes tolerate it cooked in Thai green chili paste.
I don’t like the taste so I avoid it if I can, many a delicious carrot soup has been ruined with coriander!
I spent an uncomfortable night itching like crazy but managed to survive relatively unscathed from just one tiny mouthful!
I thought I had bought the same humous as last time, a roasted pepper version.
Instead I had bought the chargrilled version which was very similar, apart from the addition of harissa paste to add some warmth.
It just goes to show you MUST read labels carefully every time you buy something.
The recipe could have changed or you could have picked up a different product.
I did check the ingredients but at the time, didn’t register the harissa as something to watch, and didn’t realise I’d picked a different product.
So, be careful, if you don’t know what an ingredient is and are at all worried, don’t buy it, or check it out before you do if you can.
Allergens can hide in very crafty hidden places.