Sweden is quickly becoming the Nordic superpower of hummus. Not only can you eat hummus in Lebanese restaurants in Stockholm, but you can find packaged hummus from Sweden in supermarkets all over the region.
Us Israelis, have a long history of special relationship with the Swedish people. They saved a lot of jews during WWII – for which we repaid in excess consumption of TV shows based upon classic Swedish children literature – from Pippi Longstocking to The Moomins to Astrid’s Emil to Nils Holgersson.
Not to mention the unbelievable popularity ABBA had here, up until today I think.
In recent years the Swedes doesn’t seem to like us as much as they use to – to which many Israelis can strongly relate, to be honest – but we still cherish the golden days (during the 1970’s & 80’s) when Israel was a preferred destination for blond Swedish tourists.
So yes, it was a little bit of a surprise to realize that Sweden stands in the honorable 15th place in the list of countries that send traffic to this blog (according to Google Analytics, 15 out of 212 countries). On the other hand, this could also be anticipated.
Yohay has already noted that there seems to be a strong interest in hummus in Nordic countries in he’s post, Hummus is on the Rise. This might has something to do with the success of Maxo’s Foods, a Swedish manufacturer of packaged hummus (in the picture) that exports to all the region.
They also have pretty impressive facebook presence that includes a nice collection of hummus videos in which they show what you can do with the Middle Eastern paste (we would skip the part with the basil, though).
An article from June 2007, published in Swedish news site in English The Local, pointed out that there’s a connection between the success hummus has in Sweden and the fact that there’s a large Lebanese community in Stockholm.
Some 15 thousand refugees came there in fear of the civilian war in Lebanon during the 80’s. Many of them, or so it seems, had successfully fed hummus and other Middle Eastern food to the Swedes since. Lebanese restaurants are doing fine in Stockholm.
So, again, it looks like Israelis and Lebanese are actually working together to bring the hummus gospel to the people of the world.