Sunday, 8 May 2011


Yesterday I made a bowl of Chummus / hummus. Not earth shattering, but since I became the owner of a food processor, this has been on my list of things to try. I will boast that it contained top quality NZ olive oil, garlic and juice from the lemons in our garden. Like many traditional foods, everyone has their own "take" on it. Mine didn't include tahini (sesame paste), but was a mixture of chick peas, cannelini beans, coriander, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic.

Random facts about hummus. The Hebrew word for chick peas is chamitz, which means "sour" from which we get chummus (the c is silent in Hebrew). This legume has always had a central place in Jewish food from the Sephardic (Spanish/N. African) tradition. During the Spanish Inquisition, if anyone was caught cooking with chickpeas they could be arrested as being a Jew.
According to Gil Marks in his book “Olive trees and honey” the chickpea’s round shape traditionally symbolised fertility so they were a favourite food at parties celebrating birth, or at Rosh Hashanah – to symbolise the hope of a well rounded year to come.

This post is dedicated to the Jewish comedian Benji Lovitt - his obsession with hummus is the stuff of Israeli legend


Benji Lovitt said...

Looks delish! Kol hakavod!

sparrow said...

Thanks Benji! When are you coming to NZ to bless us with your humour?

Dianne said...

Interestingly The Hebrew don't pronounce the c and the French don't pronounce the h -either way
your hummus looks lovely - I like it spread on toast and topped with slices of vine ripened tomato and freshly picked basil.