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7 Interesting Facts About Hummus
Hummus has become a staple in homes worldwide in recent years. Once eaten only in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, hummus is a traditional food created in that area that has now found worldwide love. Hummus is a food primarily made of a few ingredients that includes chickpeas, olive oil, lemons, garlic, salt, and tahini (a sesame seed paste).
Although it is widely enjoyed by many, there are still some facts about hummus that most don’t know. If you’re a hummus lover, or know someone that is, the following facts might interest you to find out more about one of your favorite foods. So grab a bowl of hummus and sit down for a quick read on a few lesser-known facts about the popular food.
1. Hummus Was First Enjoyed In Egypt
The first time a recipe for hummus was recorded was in 13th century Egypt – although it differed a bit from the recipe most are used to now. The recipe then included pureed chickpeas, vinegar, pickled lemons, and herbs, spices and oil. It omitted the now traditional garlic and tahini. A separate recipe also is recorded, this one including tahini, chickpeas, vinegar, and herbs and spices – but this one also omits lemon and garlic. The second recipe was also rolled out and dried overnight before being eaten!
2. Hummus Is Made Differently Depending On The Region
Many countries and regions claim hummus as their own, but each one has a distinct twist on how they make the dish. For instance, Turkish hummus is made with butter instead of oil and in Jordan the tahini is sometimes substituted by yogurt. Different regions also means a difference in the temperature of the dish – some countries eat hummus usually warm while others serve it cold.
3. Hummus Had A Movie Made About It
In 2012, an Australian film maker created the movie, Make Hummus Not War and he studied the idea if the regional love for hummus could be the solution to peace in the Middle East. It was a mashup of recipes, history, kitchen tours and political talk. Although it didn’t become a popular movie, Make Hummus Not War is an interesting perspective on a region that is fraught with tensions and conflicts.
4. Hummus Holds A Guinness Record
The world record for the biggest plate of hummus was set in May of 2010 when 300 chefs in the area of Beirut created a 23,040 pound plate of hummus! It took them eight tons of chickpeas, two tons of tahini, two tons of lemon juice and 150 pounds of olive oil. The record dish was nearly double the weight of the previous record-holder.
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5. Hummus Trumped Over Tobacco
In 2013, Today reported that America’s love for hummus had become so prevalent that tobacco farmers started switching crops – from growing tobacco to growing chickpeas. Because of the demand for hummus product, tobacco farmers were more than happy to switch to the in-demand product, especially after tobacco demand went down as well. Americans are loving their hummus and chickpea farmers are raking in the profit for it.
6. Hummus Is Actually Very Healthy For You
Maybe you didn’t know but hummus packs a nutrient powerhouse punch. It’s no wonder that the dish is eaten for breakfast in many Middle Eastern countries because it helps to keep you full (from all the fiber) and balances your blood sugar which also helps to keep your body from signaling for more food. Other benefits of hummus include decreasing inflammation, fighting illness and disease, helping digestion, supporting bone health, protecting your heart, and boosting energy.
7. Hummus Is An Aphrodisiac
This fact is probably very unknown to most – no one really thinks of hummus as having aphrodisiac properties. Some chefs refer to the legume as the “Queen of Aphrodisiacs” and because of the high content of iron, magnesium, zinc and potassium in chickpeas, and all of these nutrients being known to aid in sexual functions, hummus might be just what you need to get some love back in your life. The legumes are also known to boost physical energy which is another plus when it comes to the bedroom.
8. There Are Restaurants Dedicated To Only Serving Hummus
They are called ‘hummusias’ and they serve hummus as the main dish along with all kinds of toppings and sides. Those can include anything from the traditional pita bread and vegetables to more exotic sides such as oxtail or lamb meat. Although more common in the Middle East, where men will sit and debate which hummusia is the best in the area, they are also now starting to appear in the United States as well, as the demand for the dish increases.
It seems strange to think that one dish has transcended so many regions, sparked so many debates, is so full of nutrients and even has movies and entire restaurants dedicated to it. Hummus is a simple dish, but the culture it has created is anything but. Many people enjoy this dish and one can only hope, as the hummus movie hopes, that enjoyment of this dish together can also bring people together in peace. It’s a large task for one legume but it seems up to the challenge.