What happened to the Tahini?
At first, I was surprised and somewhat amused by the fact that most local restaurants that serve hummus are using sesame oil instead of tahini. The third time it happened, I was less amused and started feeling desperate.
It is pretty clear hummus is becoming more and more trendy in Berlin. It is also clear that they are clueless about it – about how it should taste like and about how it should be made.
Eventually, the closest thing to good hummus I ate in Berlin was inside the fabulous pita of Dada Falafel in Oranienburgerstrasse, to which I’ll return in the next post. And again – this one too was pale in comparison to what I eat in Israel several times a week.
Hummus and globalization
In my search for real hummus, I went south to the Kruezberg quarter, which has a large population of middle-easterns. There, I looked for Rissani, a restaurant which was said to have authentic Arab dishes.
They did have nice shawarma and decent falafel, but the pale liquid in the large bowl which I thought to be Tahini has turned to be – for my great disappointment – spiced yogurt sauce, like the ones I already ate in some Turkish restaurants in Berlin. Not surprisingly, their hummus also did not include tahini.
Dr. Omar, a pleasant Sudanese chap and one of the owners of the place, said to me – with complete confident – that these are all Sudanese dishes in origin. He admitted, though, that some minor changes was made to meet with the local taste.
Maybe so, and I did enjoy the meal, but my stomach was yearning for a real hummus, which I could not find.
In the next post: what tahini is sold in the 6th flour of the KaDeWe; what’s the connection between mesabbha and Nasrallah; and how I found comfort in the arms of Dada Falafel.