Old city of Acre (Akko): Humus Said
Humus Said is located in the market at the old city of Acre. Both are a must if you come around this region of the world. Humus Said, specifically, is considered one of the best hummus places in the middle-east.
Acre is a small city with a population of less than 50 thousand people. A beautiful ancient harbor city, with a glorious history – during one century (12th) alone, it was inhabited by men such as Salah Ad-din, Richard the Lion-Hearted and Maimonides (the Rambam, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, the famous Jewish scholar and philosopher). In the 13th century it hosted the most important Jewish community in the world.
Right: Old Acre wall remains. Left: Hummus Said kitchen.
In 2001 it was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Center, along with places like Masada, the Pyramids, Tag Mahal, and the city of Pompeii, and the such. It was cherished for ancient pearls like the Al-Gasar mosque, the Ottoman fortifications and the remains the Knights Hospitaller remains.
Sadly, it is on of Israel’s poorest cities today. On the other hand – it is rich with hummus.
Humus Said, the heart of Acre
Most of the hummus places in Akko are located in a relatively small area in the old city, near the beautiful old city market. They are all good, but the most famous is Humus Said (the spelling of ‘humus’ is so in origin).
Said itself is a tall and impressive character, loved by everybody. He’s making hummus for 35 years now, and his business today includes also a bakery (for the pitas) and an olive press, making the most exquisite olive oil.
Humus Said has a relatively large inner space, flooded with sunshine coming from the large windows. There’s always a line of people at it’s front door, though, waiting to eat the hummus which many people claim to be the best in all the middle-east.
There’s also the Mahluta, a delicious dish of cooked and spiced ful (broad-beans); and the Mashawsha, which is similar to hummus in it’s ingredients but has a different texture.
The portions are very large, and if your not satiated you’ll get a refill with a big smile. This place, though being very simple, gives a feeling of generosity and profusion.
If you come around this region of the world, Acre/Akko and Humus Said are well worth a visit. Don’t miss the beautiful old city market.
[more photos coming soon]
What exactly defines mashawsha?
Mashawsha is made in almost the exact same way as hummus was traditionally made (by hand), but the chickpeas are left only partially mashed. The different texture, with maybe a smaller measure of tahini, makesa whole different flavor.
My husband, baby daughter and I drove to Akko and stopped by Said humos on our Israel trip in March ’09. We are Jewish and from Canada, and I must say we felt secure and comfortable there. No riots… just a very picturesque, lovely, uncrowded town by the sea, where you can have lunch on the waterfront by an ancient port and watch arab fishermen spin their nets.
It was one of our nicest most peaceful days in Israel.
Said Humos is also worth a stop. I got quite a few containers of humos and Mashawsha for relatives in the south, and I actually preferred the Mashawsha.
I should however give a heads up to westerners about REAL arab humos… it doesnt taste the same as the humos they have in North America, or even Israeli style restaurants in NA or Israel. I found the Arab humos is alot thicker and somewhat blander…But maybe its cuz I’m used to all the fancy flavored wasabi and garlic humos back home… I know many people rave about the traditional kind like Said makes…and its worth trying for the authenitic taste.
Hummus Said is now closed down.
Hummus Said is now closed on a Saturday dispite most other hummus shops being open.