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Hummus | © stu_spivack / Flickr
Hummus | © stu_spivack / Flickr
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So Where Does Hummus Really Come From?

Picture of Thais Kelly
Updated: 11 May 2017
People from several different cultures have been arguing for years as to where hummus really comes from. Is it Arab, Israeli or Greek? When and where did it originate? These are hard questions to answer, but the one thing that everyone seems to agree on is that it’s delicious. Perhaps this is the reason so many different countries want to “own” the dish so much.

Is hummus Israeli?

The recipe consists of four easy ingredients: chickpeas, sesame seed-paste (better known as tahini), garlic and lemon. Perhaps the mystery around the beginnings of hummus is due to its main ingredient—chickpeas. This crop has been around for the past 10 thousand years. Chickpeas are common in the Middle East and there are records of them being eaten for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest existing record of something similar enough to hummus comes from 13th-century Egypt.

Chickpeas
Chickpeas | © Whitney/Flickr

Is hummus Greek?

There is no doubt that hummus is ancient, which makes some think it’s Greek. However, there are no accurate records that they were making the dip prior to its popularity in the Middle East—which is understandable, as many people still didn’t know how to write at that time.

Is hummus Arab?

In the Arab world, most cuisines have hummus as a staple. It is a common dish in countries like Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and more. This consistent popularity may be seen as a sign that hummus belongs to the Arabs. This delicacy also receives its name from the word chickpea in Arabic—again suggesting that it just might belong to the Arabs. However, once again, there’s no certain record to prove or disprove this theory.

Hummus is everybody’s!

In reality, what people know for sure is that hummus is a crossover food and has traveled from ancient times to supermarket shelves all over the world today. It doesn’t matter where one is from, everyone loves hummus and the dish has even taken Western society by storm. It is also the one of the most important dishes shared by Palestinians and Israelis. Therefore, its power goes beyond politics and nationalities; which brings people to wonder if it truly matters where hummus is from, or if we should all just enjoy it together.