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AT AKRAMAWI, a 65-year-old hummus joint by Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, a cook named Nader Tarawe was showing how to prepare hummus. The recipe for hummus b’tahini (as the dish is named) consists of chickpeas, tahini, garlic and lemon.

Since it’s relatively simple to make, the variations lie more in how it’s served. Should it be it smooth or lumpy, heavier on the tahini or on the chickpeas, crowned with fava beans or more chickpeas or pine nuts or ground beef? And what’s on the side? Chips? Pickles? Hot sauce? Felafel?

Tarawe topped each plate of hummus with a dollop of tahini and a sprinkling of olive oil. “Oil is good,” he said, an accidental Middle East metaphor. Hummus is a regional metaphor, too: beloved all over the world, it’s yet another source of tension, yet another question of proprietorship. Who invented the dish? Who can claim it as their own?

FULL STORY Who invented hummus? (BBC)

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