Chickpea hummus, the incredible story of the dish that symbolizes peace

Hummus is one of the oldest and tastiest foods ever. This dish is considered the symbol of peace in the Middle East. Let's find out what it is, how it was born and some curiosities

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Have you ever tasted l'hummus? It is a sauce made from chickpeas and sesame, also very popular with children and a great way to encourage the consumption of legumes. Hummus is a really tasty preparation to be enjoyed accompanying it with bread or raw vegetables. A world day is also dedicated to this ancient dish, which is celebrated on 13 May.


The ingredients

The basic ingredient is represented by chickpeas, which are boiled and mashed or blended until a homogeneous cream is obtained, easy to spread. Today it is also easily found in supermarkets and restaurants throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, even if its origin is a small yellow because many countries claim its authorship.

The name

The word "Hummus" derives from the Arabic and means precisely chickpeas, a legume that was grown in the Middle East for the first time 10 thousand years ago.

The full name is actually ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna, which means “chickpeas with tahini” which is a dark sesame based paste. The name itself also seems to suggest that hummus originated in an Arab country, the most similar recipe having been written in Cairo in the 13th century which was made in addition to chickpeas, with vinegar and lemon, spices and oil, but without tahini or garlic. Ironically, the first recipe with tahini is from Egyptian cuisine.

Still there are those who claim that it is a Jewish food, mentioned in the bible at least 3500 years ago, but even Greece claims it by saying that hummus is the staple of their cuisine. What is certain is that commercial traffic has allowed the circulation of goods between Greeks, Turks and other Middle Eastern peoples.

Where is he from?

But Egypt, Greece and Israel are not the only contenders. Other Middle Eastern countries also claim hummus, among them all, Lebanon. Charles Perry, president of Southern California culinary historians and an expert on medieval Arab food, said hummus was originally from Damascus because this is where the custom was to mount food while holding the bowl against the wall.

Hummus curiosities

The reality is that currently no one can say with certainty who, when and how hummus was invented because everyone is pursuing their own theory. It might seem like a trivial matter, but discovering its origins could be important for the culinary identity. The already legendary "Hummus Wars" they began in 2008 when Lebanon accused Israel of claiming what belonged to them.

The Lebanese have sued Israelis for copyright infringement and have asked the European Union for a petition to recognize hummus as a Lebanese food. Currently the battle is still ongoing and it is not certain that it will end soon. Despite these diatribes, this dish around the world has become a symbol of a hoped-for peace between the countries of the Middle East, as it is highly appreciated by both Palestine and Israel.

Of course there is only the goodness of hummus, a delicious food, rich in protein, potassium, iron, magnesium, folic acid, manganese, vitamin B-6 and fiber.

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