We thought we would take a break from more of our serious travel topics to something that has been on our minds as of late. Hummus. Hummus is a dip that people love all over the world. The word hummus mean’s “chickpea” in Arabic. Many regions around the world claim to be the place where hummus originated. The fact is, hummus has been around for so long, and in so many different variations, the exact origin has been lost in antiquity. Several cuisine-related sources speak of a folklore tale in which hummus is described as one of the oldest known prepared foods. Others speak of a legend that hummus was first prepared in the 12th century by Saladin, however this claim is highly disputed.
Despite the fact that the exact known origin of hummus is unclear, or that there are many variations, we do know that Chickpeas, the main ingredient of hummus, were known to be cultivated in the ancient Mediterranean and the Middle East. Chickpeas have been around for human consumption for several thousand years. The Chickpea was consumed in ancient Palestine, and was one of the earliest crops in Mesopotamia, as well as a common food on the streets of ancient Rome. It is also known that the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates made reference to the nutritional value of hummus in their writings. Ancient recipes for hummus have also been discovered.
In our modern world you can find this delicious dish almost anywhere you look, from grocery stores, to restaurants, even in small sized packs so you can take it with you when your backpacking. It is one of my favorite things I like to bring when I’m heading outdoors. My love for hummus is pretty intense and whenever I travel I’m always on the lookout. Which brings me to why I’m writing this blog?
WHERE THE HECK IS HUMMUS? I have traveled all over the world to countries that, in my mind at least, I would expect to find my beloved food. But, more often than I would have thought, I have not been able to find it. Whether in the desert and streets of Morocco, to the fields and bustling cities of India, all the way to East Africa and beyond, I always come up empty handed when the craving strikes for my tasty treat. Now this might be because there is such ready access to it where I live, but I went to these places sort of expecting to find it as a staple dish, especially Morocco. But for some reason it wasn’t there! From learning about its history I can see that, since I have not been to the Middle East yet which historically and presently is the place hummus lives the most, I might be looking for it in the wrong places. In addition, even the places that might have hummus, I tend to spend my time out in the communities away from formal restaurants where it might be found. As I said I was certain that when I traveled to Morocco I would find it, so when it wasn’t there I began asking this question.
I’m starting to put together that I will need to travel to parts of the middle east to fulfill my craving for hummus on my travels. So readers I am asking you, where is some of the places you have found hummus on your travels?! We are dying to know!
Photo Credit For Header: CookingWithAmira