It’s time to talk about the single most iconic Middle Eastern food. Yeah, 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 Abu Hassan in Jaffa today (for the second time), I figured it’s appropriate to perform a hummus breakdown. Abu Hassan is a small, family-owned hummus joint in Old Jaffa and many people claim that they make the best hummus in Israel (and even the world).
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 thing on the menu is 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). Each bowl has drizzles of tahini and olive oil, as well as some spices. Stacks of pita and plates of raw onions accompany the giant bowls of dip, as well as a small cup of spicy sauce.
So let’s break it down.
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 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? Except not real hummus? No.
2. Hard Squash Hummus: Ummm…what’s hard squash?
3. Beet Hummus: This stuff looks like Passover horseradish.
4. Cilantro Lime Hummus: Stop trying to turn hummus into salsa.
5. Sweet Pea Hummus: Gross.
6. Celery Root Hummus: The recipe calles for two “baseball-sized” celery roots…
7. Black Bean Hummus: Really, Food Network?? #respectthehummus
8. Edamame Hummus: I think I’ll stick to edamame and salt. #basic
9. No Chickpea Hummus: The name is literally so ridiculous that I don’t even know what else to say. “No chickpea chickpea dip.” Nooooooooooooooooooooooo.