Hummus, oh hummus, the beloved garbanzo bean puree that has taken the world by storm. But did you know that in Israeli culture, hummus is more than just a tasty meal? It’s a national treasure and a point of pride. In fact, there’s even an ongoing debate about which hummus joint in Tel Aviv has the best hummus in town!

But what makes hummus so special in Israeli culture? For starters, it’s a staple dish in many Israeli households, served as a main course or as a side dish. It’s also a symbol of unity, as Israelis of all backgrounds can agree on their love for hummus.

9 Cool Things about Hummus

  1. Origin: Hummus is a Middle Eastern dish that has been enjoyed since the beginning of recorded time, with evidence of its consumption dating back to ancient Egypt.
  2. Main Ingredients: Hummus is primarily made from garbanzo beans, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, giving it a unique flavor and texture.
  3. Vegan and Gluten-Free: Hummus is a versatile and healthy food that is both vegan and gluten-free, making it a popular choice for those with dietary restrictions.
  4. Nutritious: Hummus is packed with nutrients such as fiber, protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making it a healthy choice.
  5. Versatility: Hummus is a versatile food that can be paired with a variety of other items, including vegetables, pita bread, and crackers, and even used as a spread for sandwiches.
  6. International Popularity: Hummus has gained popularity around the world, with variations of the dish found in many cultures, including the Mediterranean, North Africa, and the Middle East.
  7. Health Benefits: The ingredients in hummus are known to have several health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and aiding digestion. Read “old fashioned real food”.
  8. Flavor Combinations: Hummus can be customized with a variety of flavors and ingredients, such as roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, or herbs, to create unique and tasty variations. It’s particularly popular to top hummus with sauteed mushrooms or ground beef.
  9. Easy to Make: Hummus is a simple dish to make at home, requiring only a few ingredients and only takes a few minutes with a food processor or blender or go old school and make it by hand.

Now, let’s get to the good stuff – the recipe!

Here’s a classic hummus recipe that will transport you straight to the streets of Israel:


2 cups freshly cooked garbanzo beans or 1 can of chickpeas (15 oz) drained and rinsed
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt to taste
1/4 cup water
Olive oil for serving


In a food processor, blend the garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt until smooth.

Gradually add in the water while blending until the hummus is smooth and creamy.

Transfer the hummus to a serving bowl and drizzle with olive oil and maybe some zaatar.

Serve with warm pita bread and enjoy!

So next time you dip your pita into a bowl of hummus, remember the cultural significance behind this delicious dish. And who knows, you might just find yourself in the middle of a friendly hummus debate, just like the locals

– Tikva Sasson