It’s time to talk about the single most iconic Middle Eastern food. You know, the one you can buy in tubs, snack packs and probably buckets-full at the grocery store.

It’s time to talk about hummus.

After visiting the small, family-owned Abu Hassan in Jaffa (AKA the best hummus joint in the world), I figured it’s appropriate to perform a hummus breakdown. The generic green awning and simple interior might compel you to skip the place, but the guys at Abu Hassan know their stuff.

The only options on the menu are three varieties of hummus: the regular, creamy kind; a chunky and warm version (hummus masubha); and a creamy hummus with fava bean dip on top (hummus ful).


Photo by Becca Berland

Each bowl comes with drizzles of tahini and olive oil on top, as well as some spices and fresh herbs. Stacks of pita and plates of raw onions accompany the giant bowls of dip and a small cup of spicy sauce is available for those who love the extra heat.

So let’s break it down.

What is Hummus?

Hummus literally means “chickpea” in Hebrew and Arabic. The hummus we know and love today is generally considered to have Egyptian roots. It’s made up of four ingredients: chickpeas, tahini (sesame paste), olive oil and lemon juice.

Some varieties include garlic, salt, and other spices, but for the most part, every different kind of hummus that you’ll ever eat is based off of these four main ingredients. The main difference is that the quality and quantity of the ingredients varies by restaurant/company.

Hummus is trendy, so obviously everyone’s trying to create his or her own version of the creamy dip. Keep in mind that hummus = chickpea.

Here are 9 ridiculous hummuses that aren’t actually hummus.

1. Everything White Bean Hummus

Like an everything bagel, but hummus? No.

2. Hard Squash Hummus


Photo courtesy of

Umm, what’s hard squash?

3. Beet Hummus

This stuff looks like Passover horseradish.

4. Cilantro Lime Hummus

Excuse me, I thought we were talking about hummus, not salsa (apparently guac hummus is a thing, too).

5. Sweet Pea Hummus

Gross. Grosser than peanut butter hummus? Not sure.

6. Celery Root Hummus


Photo courtesy of

The recipe calls for two “baseball-sized” celery roots…wut. Try this sweet potato chipotle hummus instead (it actually includes chickpeas, so it’s legit).

7. Black Bean Hummus

Beach eats. #nomnom #Sullivans #blackbeanhummus #avocados #beacheats

A photo posted by Katie Lynne Heatley (@coastalkt88) on

And here I thought Food Network always had my back. #respectthehummus

8. Edamame Hummus

My not so guilty pleasures ?

A photo posted by Isabel Protomartir | HTX (@isabelissimaa) on

I think I’ll stick to edamame and salt.

9. No Chickpea Hummus

AKA “no chickpea chickpea dip.”