Monday, 3 September 2012

Who knew Hummus was so hilarious and historical?

Who knew that hummus formed a complete protein when eaten with bread?  Well, certainly not me.  Then again I just found this bit of information on the internet.  Maybe I shouldn't believe the internet.  Afterall, I get paid to write things that go on the internet and we all know I'm mad.  Don't believe me? Well, I just got stuck in a jacket because I somehow managed to zip it up horribly wrong.  I had to wriggle out of it like it was an overly snug sweater.  So maybe I shouldn't be trusted.  And maybe the internet should be trusted even less.

Then again, if hummus and bread are a complete protein that could explain why I've been craving it.  I do not always have the most healthy diet in the world and my body could very well be demanding I feed it proteins, nice healthy complete ones.  Maybe I just need fiber.  Maybe I'm just hungry.  Who knows?

Believe me when I say that I will not be worried about all those crazy words like mono-unsaturates and poly-unsaturates.  And all the other "nutritional" things they throw at you.  I'm not really eating it because I think it's healthy.  And besides that I'll be content with the fact that hummus is high in iron and vitamin C, for that ever troublesome case of land-based scurvy.  (See my earlier opinions on scurvy and broccoli here).

But really, I'm just going to enjoy my hummus with the knowledge that it is a food that the infamous Saladin himself may have eaten.  The ingredients have been consumed in many variations for many years from India all the way to Spain.  Though maybe I shouldn't go into it's history because apparently that's not a safe topic either.  Don't believe me?  Check out the war over hummus.  In reality, hummus is an ancient dish whose history is a bit cloudy.  The earliest recipe for a food similar to hummus appears in a 13th c. cookbook from Cairo.  But it was probably eaten in similar forms for hundreds of years before that.

Hummus is really just the Arabic word for chickpea, which is also known as garbanzo in Spanish.  This one small bean of many aliases was introduced to Western Europe by at least the time of the Romans.  It is believed that the Phoenicians were responsible for this introduction though there is also debate over this fact.  Maybe I like chickpeas (and hummus) because I am secretly a Phoenician.  My reasons for entertaining this fantasy belong in another post.  Maybe I like chickpeas because they have been causing culinary chaos since the thirteenth century and now are the cause of political struggles.  I may have a thing for rebellious foods.  Or maybe I just like them because I like the way they taste.

The reason why I like hummus will probably always remain a mystery, but now you and I know a few more random facts about hummus and it's history.  Unless you are a genius or food enthusiast and already knew all these things; it's possible.  Either way, go enjoy hummus for all it's glorious history and hilarious upheaval. 

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