Hummus is the staple of Middle Eastern food, at least in my opinion. I love falafel, pita, all that stuff, but hummus is the one dish you can transplant into almost any cuisine, dip with almost anything, and for some reason the one food that many non-vegetarian friendly restaurants seem to offer in lieu of anything else. It has a rich history, being perhaps one of the oldest prepared foods ever, but yet its origins are unclear.
But while the Lebanese fight about it with Israel (and make giant vats to win silly word records), some Darfur refugees, initially scorned in Israel, turned into an excellent opportunity to gain ground and make a living. Monocolumn’s “Selling hummus to Israelis” details the process:
“Hummus is the heart of the nation, so to be part of Israel’s hummus world is to become an honorary Israeli,” explains Eytan Schwartz, former spokesman of the Committee for the Advancement of Refugees from Darfur (Card). “The Darfuri situation crystallised what it means for Israel to be both a Jewish and democratic society,” Schwartz adds.
The locals love it! And the Sudanese are no stranger to hummus, apparently making it with sugar for a dessert dish and eating it after the Ramadan fast. Isn’t food a huge joiner between nations? The various cuisines we’ve adopted into the States are a testament to how we can use food as a bridge to bring people and ideas together.
On my hummus quest, it’s taken a bit, but I think I’ve finally nailed the perfect recipe. I rarely measure the ingredients I use, so modify as you see fit. This last batch (using the following recipe) was exquisite, however.
World Class Hummus
1 can garbanzo beans (chick peaks), drained
1/2 c tahini
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp or more cumin (the secret ingredient!)
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp flax oil (optional, purely for health benefits)
Blend in a food processor until creamy, and dip away!