Hummus: Claimed by All and Owned by None


Hummus is a popular staple food in Middle Eastern countries, especially Israel. It is a dip or a thick paste often paired with bread pita or falafel. The said dip is made from ground chickpeas and sesame paste (tahini), olive oil, lemon, and garlic. It is a healthy food rich in nutrients for a healthy diet. 


Believe it or not, this simple healthy food has caused conflict in some nations in the Middle East wanting to claim ownership of this popular dish. Many had claimed that the dish originated from their own country which had been a never-ending debate; among these countries are Israel and Lebanon which even led to the so-called “Hummus Wars.” The said fight of the two countries was for the purpose of gaining worldwide recognition for the hummus by creating large servings. 


Local Foods in Israel with Chickpeas as the prime ingredient

 

Truly, the dish is simply not just popular in Israel but also in some other countries where Palestinians, Lebanese, Egyptians, and even Greeks claim Hummus as their own dish. No one can really tell the exact place and time Hummus originated but chickpeas which were the key ingredient to Hummus has been considered as a domestic crop among all those in the Greater Syria region way back 13th centuries ago.

 

In Israel, Hummus is a popular everyday local dish (considered as a condiment or spread) by the residents. It has been served almost in all local restaurants in the country and is always present in every family meal. There are a lot of famous restaurants that offer variations from budget street vendors to expensive restaurants. Surely, it is a must-try dish for every traveler going to Israel.

 

Another type of food that is famous in Israel is the Falafel - considered a national dish of which the chickpeas are also the key ingredient. It is a deep-fried ball made of chickpeas that can be eaten as it is or can be wrapped into a pita or be eaten together with hummus.


Israel's national dish - Falafel


Truly, Israeli cuisine is one that a tourist cannot miss when traveling because of the innovative dishes the country has to offer. 


Reference: “Hummus is claimed by all and owned by none.” by Oren Rosenfeld, director of Hummus The Movie.


Blog Contributor: Honey Grace Angeles

Photos by: Ibrahim Vida


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