On our way to the admired hummus place of Lina, we took some fascinating pictures of old Jerusalem. The atmosphere was truly enchanting.
Most people go to Homus Lina* through Jaffa Gate, the gate through which you get to the Wailing Wall (the Western Wall of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem, a place sacred to Jewish people).
This time, we decided to come from Nablus Gate (also called Damascus Gate), which led us through the beautiful christen quarter of old Jerusalem, with it’s magnificent market, in an enchanted path of sights and scents.
The hummus itself was wonderful as usual. But this time, the photos I took on the way make the real difference.
(* they spell it “homus”, just like Saeid in Acre spell it “humus”. Every hummus place in Israel seem to use a different spelling).
Here are some of the pictures:
Yes, I admit to have eaten the delicacy mentioned in the title once or twice, I’m not proud of that though. And I never tried to convince myself that packaged hummus with pretzels will be good for me, or that it tastes good.
In this blog, I already discussed the poor situation of hummus in America, a few times before. Some of the questions asked here by my readers, also shed some light on the subject.
In future posts I’ll present other variations of hummus. This time, lets talk about the basic threesome.
There are lots of variations to the basic hummus with various additions, such as hummus with mashrooms, ground meat, chicken liver and so on. But this time we’ll stick to the basic threesome (photos will be added sometime soon):
Hummus. the basic dish is traditionally served with some chopped parsley and olive oil, sometimes with some cooked chickpeas and tahini on top. By the way, “Hummus” is the Arab name for chickpeas, and the full and correct name of the dish is “Hummus bi’Thina” (hummus with tahini).
Hummus Ful. hummus with cooked broad beans (“ful”). The broad beans, of the small and brown variety, known as Ful Masri (Egyptian broad beans) are soaked and cooked like the chickpeas, and have a doughy texture. It’s usually mixed with cumin, lemon juice and salt.
Mesabha. though being made of the same ingredients as hummus, the mesabha (or mesabeha) is very different in texture. The chickpeas are not ground but rather mixed with the tahini, olive oil, garlic etc.
And there’s also the…
Meshuleshet (“triplet” in Hebrew). a mix of hummus, ful and masabha, on the same plate. As far as I can tell, this is not a traditional course but more like a commercialized combination, invented for new customers who want to taste everything at once.
Tahini is the second most important ingredient in hummus, right after the chickpeas. It is eaten by hundreds of millions, everyday, from China to Greek and Africa. Only, in some yet evolving part of the world, it is rear and of law quality
They say there’s a war between civilizations going on. I’m not sure about that. The way I see it, there is definitely such virtual gap, separating people from one another – but it has nothing to do with politics or beliefs.
To make long things short: there are only two kinds of pople: those who knows what REAL tahini tastes like, and those who do not.
Israeli and Palestinian Tahini Brands.
Though relatively young and poor in content compared with it’s older Hebrew brother, The Hummus Blog is getting lots of attention these days. Over the comments at one of the sites who talked about us, someone said something like “Americans don’t know shit about hummus”.
Canned and preserved foods are not as healthy. Specifically, when using canned chickpeas instead of dried ones to make hummus, you loose half the nutrients.
Most of the recipes for homemade hummus found on the web, are based on canned chickpeas (a.k.a garbanzo beens). To those of you who are acquainted with the original flavor of hummus (not the industrial type, that is), this probably sound like a but idea. True, the use of canned peas demands less effort, but it doesn’t taste that good.
For those of you who see think canned chickpeas are a reasonable substitute, I collected some data about the nutritional differences between cooked dried chickpeas and canned ones.
Chickpeas and tahini, the major ingredients of hummus, contain essential amino acids which has a very similar effect to that of anti-depressants. Don’t be surprised if one day in the near future your doctor will prescribe you some hummus.
In a recent post I addressed the fascinating issue of hummus’s anti-depression and anti-anxiety potential. To be exact, hummus has some nutrients that may affect mood in certain dosages. This is somewhat similar to how an SSRI drug (Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) like Prozac, Seroxat or Cipralex works.
SSRIs prolongs the presence of free serotonin in the brain. The postponed absorption of serotonin (a crucial neurotransmitter) into the brain cells, would usually result in diminished symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety and compulsive behaviour, thus make one “happier”.