EAST HANOVER, NJ—Snack manufacturer Nabisco announced Tuesday its tentative decision to add hummus to its list of approved Ritz cracker toppings, temporarily granting the chickpea-based spread the same status accorded to garnishes such as summer sausage and tomato wedges. "At this time, we believe it is in our best interests to move forward with a trial period to assess the value of hummus as a flavorful complement to our line of Ritz products," said Nabisco spokesman Dale Reinert, who demurred when asked whether the topping might one day supplant peanut butter as the preferred filling in sandwich crackers. "Following an 18-week evaluation, we will determine whether a renewal of hummus' certification is warranted." Tuesday's long-awaited announcement ends months of speculation that began last year when Nabisco parent company Kraft Foods invested heavily in sesame-oil futures.