Monday, May 05, 2008


I have been confused again and again by Israelis talking about houmous as though it were a meal. Questions like:
"Would you like houmous for lunch?"
I found confusing. It is a spread right, like pesto, jam and nutella.... Well this is what I thought.
Until some friends took me out to the Old City of Jaffa where there is a renown houmous maker. The only thing you can buy from there is houmous, they make one bath in the morning and it usually runs out before closing time. We had to line up for 10 minutes to get a corner of an old plastic table. Then the waiter placed in front of us three bowls filled with houmous warm and soft, with oil, lemon juice and paprika on top: a pile of warm fresh pita bread and a plate of fresh raw onion.
It was superb. Finishing everything in front of us was a task!

And this is how I came to understand that houmous can be a meal (and an experience).



Blogger Catalin said...

Yummm! I love warm, fresh hummus (as it is generally spelled here). Most middle eastern places here offer platters of hummus and baba ghanouj with pita, or pita stuffed fat with hummus and veggies, or like you had it, a bowl of hummus with pita and maybe some cucumbers, tomatoes and olives on the side.

Can you tell us about more Israeli food? What's a typical Israeli breakfast? (It's always so interesting how different breakfasts can be in different places...)

4:41 am  
Blogger bulanjdjan said...

YUUM! I'm so hungry for some hommous!! I bet you were all too hungry to stop and take photos of this feast before you devoured it as best you could?

I also have a related and somewhat naive question. Canned chickpeas (and other pulses for that matter) always taste better than dry ones which are soaked then cooked before use in a meal. Are canned chickpeas also soaked then cooked before being canned, or, as they just canned fresh?! (The idea of 'fresh' pulses seems so foreign, I can hardly believe that they are not 'picked' dry). Are fresh chickpeas the secret of this wonderful hommous you sampled??

12:26 pm  
Blogger Sophie said...

Hmm.. good questions. I will ask my Chickpea connections and find out. I could not for the life of me remember how we spell hommous/houmous/homus in Australia, now that I understand it comes from written Arabic or Hebrew script, I don't mind how it is spelt in English.

Breakfast in Israel. Well I like to have Cheerios. But I believe it would more 'traditionally' be a number of cold salads, cucumber, tomato and onion, cottage cheese ( or something the like) and omelette's (or some kind of scrambled eggs- just eggs), and some kind of fresh bread- but not usually the sliced variety. Almost definitely coffee, juice and a think tea is a more recent addition.It is a very good breakfast- the kind of like because it has fresh uncooked food- and not too much fried stuff.

Israeli food in general seems fairly close to what we call, ahem, Lebanese food. But with lots more fresh salads and nice soft cheese than I have seen in Australia.

7:09 pm  

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