Hummus is an important part of the dining table spread in the Middle East. Photograph by James/Flickr
You probably know hummus is healthy, and that it’s relatively simple to make. And the Middle Eastern chickpea spread is, especially if made at home, a health bomb. And it can’t be anything but simply because you can’t go wrong with chickpeas, sesame paste, olive oil and garlic.
- Plus, according to medicaldaily.com, it can lower cholesterol, keep blood sugar in check, and is also a great source of iron. What’s more, it’s also got Vits C and B6, and manganese, iron and zinc among other things. Like you, a lot of people probably this — which is why they eat tons of hummus at every available opportunity — but there are some things even great hummus fans won’t be aware of. For instance…
- … Where was hummus first created? The Middle East? Ok, you are partly right. But nobody has a real idea which part of the Middle East? Was it present day Israel, or Jordan, or Syria, or even Turkey or Egypt? Thing is each of the countries claims the hummus as their own and they are all pretty intense when it comes to hummus.
- Six years ago, Israel and Lebanon entered into a hummus war of sorts, and set about making large quantities of the chickpea spread in order to set a record. Israel made around 4000 kg in a Guinness World record bid, but a few months later, its neighbour gave a befitting reply by making 10,000 kg of hummus.
- Hummus is an important part of nearly every country’s cuisine in the Middle East. But each of these nations make it in their own distinctive ways (for instance, the Turks replace olive oil with butter). But the Israelis, it seems, are the biggest hummus fans, and hummus is often served as the main dish.
- You probably — and mostly — have hummus with pita bread. But, hummus can also be a great substitute for unhealthy food. Use it as a spread in your sandwich, dilute it with water and it becomes a salad dressing, or just spread it on fish before you bake it.
- If you like hummus, you are not alone. Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Justin Timberlake, among others, are fans of the chickpea spread. Outside of the Middle East, hummus is most popular in the United States. According to Haaretz.com, consumer spending on hummus in the US touched $1 billion in 2014. A report by food and restaurant consulting firm Baum and Whiteman says that varieties of hummus in the US include “Thai chilli, spinach artichoke,edamame, cilantro chimichurri, lemongrass chilli.”
- There have even been movies about hummus, among them, Make Hummus Not War, and The Hummus Enforcement Agency. The latest film, Hummus! The Movie is geopolitics, identity and love of food, and tracks the journeys of three restaurateurs in Israel: Suheila Al Hindi, Jalil Dabit, a Christian Arab; and Eliyahu Shmueli. a Jew. It also features Olivier, a French Benedictine monk, who is on a quest to find the perfect hummus, and musician Aluf Abir, who “has an original take on hummus”. The movie is slated to hit the festival circuit this year.