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Israel Travel Blog >> Aug 20 >> Highlights and Tips
 
Israel celebrating its favorite dish – Hummus
 
Hummus by Zahad Raleb from Lina RestaurantOnly a decade ago most Israelis considered Falafel to be the most Israeli dish and the closest thing we have to a national food (after all, Falafel is not an Israeli dish, it is a popular Middle Eastern food and you will easily find it in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria). Over the last 10-15 years it seems the Falafel gradually lost its special status to one of its major ingredients: The Hummus. Israelis certainly did not invent this amazing dish, but they sure fell in love with it, developed it and adopted it as the most loved and craved food in the country.
Life is like a bowl of HummusHummus is a paste, preferably eaten hot and fresh (cold super market Hummus, is just not the same and can never be) made of chickpeas, Tahini, lemons, olive oil, garlic (and some add grinded boiled egg as well), salt & pepper. It is simple, not expensive (god bless Israeli and Palestinian olive oil) and is truly rich in taste and nutritional value.
Hummus is served with many different "extras": Minced meet, grilled mushrooms, chickpeas, broad beans etc. If you don’t ask for any of these you'll get the ordinary "Hummus Complete" – Hummus with boiled egg, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil sprinkled on top, union plus olives on the side and a few pita breads. Mashausha and Masabaha are two special versions of the dish, with whole chickpeas inside and more Tahini in the paste. Hummus is also an ingredient in many Israeli street food dishes – but than it is usually not hot and just adds the Hummus flavor.
Abu Hassan Hummus in JaffaIsraelis love to argue about where one can eat the best Hummus in the country. Amongst the most famous are Abu Hassan in Jaffa, Said in Acre and Abu Shukri in the village of Abu Gosh (10 min from Jerusalem, on the main road between the capital and Tel Aviv).
While traveling in Israel make sure to try this fantastic plate, it is so Yami and healthy and the only down side of it is the need of a rest after eating the Hummus. If you are currently in Israel you can make your first steps in the world of Hummus at the "Whipping Festival" (Hummus is not eaten with a knife and fork, it is being whipped off the plate with a Pita bread), held in HaYarkon Park this week (Aug 20-21). The few years old festival hosts some of the best Hummus joints in the country as well as more commercial Hummus (Tzabar Salads). It will give you a chance to try Hummus from north Israel, compare it with Hummus from Jaffa, Jerusalem and even Beer Sheva. In between tasting you can enjoy live music by Sarit Hadad and Maya Booskila, Eastern artists' fair and special competitions. Eat in moderation, it can be addictive!!!


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