A Brief History of Hummus

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It’s the staple dip of any gathering and perfect with chips, bread or salads. According to Katy Salter of The Guardian, over 40% of Brits have a pot of it in the fridge at any one time. So how did it garner such popularity, and can we trace its roots back to one specific place?


“The debate over the origin of hummus is old–probably as old as hummus itself” states food writer Saad Fayed. “The Greeks like to claim it as their own, but the Arabs are equally adamant in their claims. Even the Israeli’s claim it.” His points are echoed by Anastasia McGregor of the University of Delaware, who explains, “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.”


Debates aside, it seems the dip is enjoying more fame than ever before. Salter attributes this to the work of chefs like Ottolenghi, Claudia Roden and Anissa Helou who she says, “Have done much to popularise Middle Eastern foods in the last decade or so.” In addition to this, the globalization which characterises life in the 21st Century should of course be credited. Ours is a shrinking world, with infinite opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration and exchange. Hummus is both the result and the embodiment of this; healthy, delicious, and made to share.


How To Make It:


Hummus is one of the easiest things to whip up, and with it’s high protein and iron content it’s also one of the most nutritious! Simply pop all the ingredients into a blender and go. Any of the extras can be added according to personal taste for a little extra kick.


The Staples:


1 x Tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

2 x Raw garlic cloves

4 x Tablespoon olive oil

½ Lemon (juice)

2 x Tablespoon tahini (or sesame oil)

4 x Tablespoon water

Salt and pepper to taste


The extras:


Paprika, Cumin powder, Turmeric and Garam Masala