Remember to wear good shoes, drink a lot, and try not to buy every beautiful thing you see – but do go to Hummus Abu Sukri in old Jerusalem. And please – go through Via Dolorosa.
For those of you who didn’t figure it out yet: I’m an Israeli, living in Tel-Aviv. I’m Jewish, so the fact that a certain place is associated with Jesus doesn’t mean much to me. I may find such a place fascinating, as I may with other historical sites, and that’s about it.
But if you or the people you travel with, happen to be Christian, than you can have twice the spiritual experience in the price of one: Hummus Abu Shukri plus Via Dolorosa.
Now, there’s a point to be made: the name “Abu Shukri” is used by several hummus places, most of which reside on Abu Gosh, an Arab village a 5 minute drive from Jerusalem.
There seems to be a great dispute over the question who has “the secret” of Abu Shukri’s hummus, who’s “the original Abu Shukri”. A well established school of Hummusiologists argue that the REAL Abu Shukri, left Abu Gosh decades ago, and his sons today make the same hummus in their restaurant, exotically located at the heart of old Jerusalem, just in front of the lower end of the Via Dolorosa.
In the heart of holy Jerusalem
To some degree, the city of Jerusalem is held “holy” for “all three” religions: Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Symbolically, people of all three religions, share the same spaces mostly when inside the walls of the old city. Frequently, when eating hummus in sacred places like Lina. Sometimes, in places like Abu Shukri, which has the benefit of being so close to the Via.
Both places can be approached through Jaffa Gate, the gate through which you also go to the Wailing Wall (the Western Wall of Herod’s temple in Jerusalem, a place sacred to Jewish people). You can also go there through Nablus Gate (“Damascus Gate”), to which we were closer this time (we went to see the beautiful United Buddy Bears exhibition, 5-10 minute walk to the south) .
Apparently, August is not a very good time to walk the hilly kilometer or so from where we were to Abu Shukri, so we got there exhausted. Afterwards, when going up Via Dolorosa, we understood why it is called “the way of suffering”. Be smarter than us: try to find your way to the top of the Via, then go down and end up at Abu Shukri. The way back is not hardly as steep.
Abu Shukri’s Hummus
We ordered hummus-b’l-tahini (hummus with tahini) and hummus-ful (hummus with broad beans). Both were excellent, though a little on the lemony side. It’s a thick hummus, with somewhat rough texture, but it doesn’t make you feel heavy . Nor did the lovely homemade pickles and the sliced tomatoes served with it.
You can also have a vegetable salad and falafel with it, which we didn’t – not this time, in which we craved mainly for the hummus and super-chilled drinks, to which we longed for since earlier that day, when we first realized we were hungry.
Of the Christian quarter and it’s fabulous market, that surrounds Abu Shukri and the Via Dolorosa, I already talked in the post about Humus Lina. There are also some great shots of old Jerusalem there.