The uses for this “dip” are limited only by your creativity.

One of my all-time favorite Trader Joe’s items is their garlic spread dip, a fresh, chilled product that you can find in the refrigerated section near the hummus and other dips. It’s bright white and unassuming-looking, but it’s so good that when I recently brought it on a picnic as a substitute for mayonnaise, I looked over at my friend to realize she was just smearing the stuff on sandwich bread and eating it straight up, without any other sandwich toppings. That’s how good it is.

Though they market it as simply a garlic dip, it’s actually a version of a very popular Middle Eastern sauce called toum. If you’ve ever gone to a Middle Eastern restaurant and gotten a side of a pungently garlicky white sauce with your meal, you’ve had toum. It’s super similar to mayonnaise, which is made by mixing together eggs and oil until they form a smooth, creamy spread. Toum is made with the same technique, except instead of eggs, the garlic is mixed with oil. Because of how it’s made, it also keeps for a long time in your refrigerator.

081120_Trader Joe's
Credit: Melissa Renwick/Getty Images

Melissa Renwick/Getty Images

Toum is common across the Levant region, and pairs incredibly well with grilled meats and vegetables. Because of its intensity, you get a little bit of spiciness from the fresh garlic and it cuts right through anything rich and fatty—but also brings a creamy texture to the party. That’s why it’s perfect for sandwiches, which are often missing a little bit of oomph. Try it on your next BLT or turkey sandwich and you’ll see what I mean.

Trader Joe’s garlic sauce is incredibly versatile—you can dip straight into it, or stir it into yogurt to create a richer, more creamy dip or sauce that would be just as delicious served with chips as it would be drizzled on toast or a kale salad. It has a fluffy texture that makes it super appealing for dipping, and its uses are truly only limited by your own creativity. Anywhere you might use a few crumbles of goat cheese, a smear of mayonnaise or even an onion dip, Trader Joe’s garlic spread dip is there for you.