Lebanon And The Massive Bowl Of Hummus

Samuel Reason | May 10th, 2019

The inventor of hummus has long been disputed and a cause for angry debates. Everyone from Lebanese to the Turks to the Syrians have all tried to lay claim to being the inventors of hummus. And since it is quite simple to make the variations really depend on how it is served. Afterall it is simply chickpeas, tahini, garlic, and lemon.

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If it should be smooth or lumpy, or a little heavier on the tahini or on the chickpeas comes down to who is making it. And also what do you serve on the side? Chips or pickles, or maybe falafel. And though everyone loves eating hummus, it is indeed beloved all over the world, it is actually a source of tension over who invented the dish.

Everyone from the Lebanese to the Turks to the Syrians has tried to lay claim to the great hummus, but there is very little evidence to support their theories and claims. For example, all the ingredients have been available for many years and the chickpea dates back over 10,000 years in Turkey. Most historians believe it is one of the earliest vegetables ever to be cultivated in the Middle East.

The actual combination of these ingredients that make hummus and where it came from is really hard to pin down. Some say it is a Jewish food due to it being mentioned in their bible over 3,500 years ago. But in the Hebrew Bible, though it does mention “hometz” most linguistics now believe this means vinegar and not hummus. And other historians will tell you it first appeared in Nepal or Northern Indian – some believe this debate is just a little silly, but for many, the Hummus Wars is a real fight.

Starting in 2008, Lebanon accused Israel of cashing in and stealing their legacy, publicity, and money by claiming that Hummus was invented in Israel. The Lebanese government then petitioned for the EU to officially recognize hummus as being Lebanese and then tried to sue Israel for infringement of food-copyright. Both attempts proved fruitless.

So the minister of tourism in 2009, Fadi Abboud, decided the way they would settle this would be by making a plate of hummus so big they would be featured in the Guinness Book of World Records. And this goal was achieved, they made a record plate of 2,000kg of hummus.

Israel retaliated by producing a 4,000kg dish of hummus! And then Lebanon created a monster dish of 10,452kg of the dip – holding the record since 2010.

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