The way some people can't imagine life without chocolate or a daily cup of coffee is the way I feel about hummus. I absolutely love hummus and incorporate it into my meals once, if not twice or three times a day.
Hummus, also stylized as “houmous,” “humus,” “hommus,” or “hommos,” is an Arabic word meaning chickpea. This spread, made from cooked and smashed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and salt, is a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B and protein. Hummus is also rumored to be an aphrodisiac.
History of Hummus
History tells us that the earliest known recipes for "hummus bi tahini" are recorded in 13th century cookbooks. Many cultures would love to claim hummus as their own, but unfortunately, because hummus has been around for so long, the exact origin has been lost.
What we know for sure is that chickpeas have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years. Chickpeas are not only packed with protein, fiber, and folic acid, but also have historically been ground and used as a coffee substitute.
Hummus is a popular dish in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. Thankfully today, hummus is becoming more popular in the western world. Sabra, for example, is a well-known Middle Eastern-style food product company that produces over 14 different hummus flavors available in the US and Canada.
Innovative hummus has become extremely desirable and can be found as the focal point of menus at renowned restaurants such as Zahav in Philadelphia and Dizengoff in Philadelphia and New York City. If you are trying to make restaurant-style hummus, be sure to buy Soom tahini, which is a key ingredient in Zahav hummus.
Why Hummus is Awesome
Hummus is for everyone. This gluten-free, nut-free and dairy-free spread pairs perfectly with snacks such as Wheat Thins, apples, pretzels, carrots, celery, bell peppers, pita bread, and pita chips. Hummus also pairs well with falafel, grilled chicken, and eggplant.
Eating hummus can inspire creativity. Although hummus tastes excellent by itself, it tastes even better topped with chopped tomatoes, parsley, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, paprika, olives, or pine nuts.
Hummus has even broken records. In May 2010, the Guinness World Record for the largest dish of hummus weighed in at approximately 23,000 lbs. This hummus, made by 300 cooks in the al-Fanar village in Lebanon, included eight tons of chickpeas, two tons of tahini, two tons of lemon juice, and 155 pounds of olive oil.