Homus, hummus, humus, humos, hamos, houmous, seriously Wikipedia has eight spellings for it, but in truth it’s all the same. Pureed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and some spices, humus is found on almost every middle eastern menu. Not quite as popular as in “Revenge of the Zohan,” humus can be categorized as almost an obsession for some people. Everyone’s mom seems to make the best humus, leading me to wonder how humus reached such cult status. I wandered around the grocery store looking for a small tub of humus for a picnic, the only size to be found was nearly ½ a kilogram!
Humus in the middle east is slightly different than what we have on our shelves in the United States. More like a think liquid than a paste, humus is often used as a condiment on falafel or shwarma , not as a dip. Chickpeas have been part of the Mediterranean diet since before 2500BC and its possible that the Ancient Egyptians even ate humus or something like it. The first documented account of humus dates to a 13th century Arab cookbook, but unsurprisingly few cookbooks were published in the medieval period, so really we’ll never know.
Actually the origins of Humus are rather controversial. In 2008 a Lebanese food association lobbied their government to request protected status from the European Commission as a uniquely Lebanese food because it has become so popular in Israel. It’s so popular in fact that there’s an Israeli food website dedicated to humus: http://humus101.com/EN, which covers the controversy much better than I can.
So maybe the dip isn’t as boring as just pureed chickpeas.
Andrea Miles says
Hi Danny and Gillian.
I actually learnt how to make a version of humus today – all 5 litres of the stuff. I’ve been doing a few days work in the kitchen of Amra Palace and loving it. Was great meeting you guys in Petra. Think I will be heading to Syria in the next couple of weeks – does depend on a certian boy! Andrea x
5 liters?!?! that is crazy. It is good stuff but I simply cannot imagine ever eating that much humus!
Good luck in Syria…we’ve only heard excellent things…