What is Hummus?
Simply put, hummus is a spread or dip made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. It is popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine around the globe. It can also be found in most grocery stores in North America and Europe. The name “hummus” comes from the Arabic word meaning “chickpeas”, and the complete name of the prepared spread in Arabic is ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna which means “chickpeas with tahini.”
Where did Hummus come from?
Although there are a number of different theories and claims of origins in various parts of the Middle East, there is insufficient evidence to determine the precise location or time of the invention of hummus. Evidence suggests that hummus is linked to an area known as the Levant, an approximate historical geographical term referring to a large area in the Eastern Mediterranean, primarily in Western Asia.
The basic ingredients of hummus – chickpeas, sesame, lemon, and garlic – have been combined and eaten in the Levant over centuries. Though chickpeas were widely eaten in the region and often cooked in stews and other hot dishes, puréed chickpeas eaten cold with tahini do not appear before the Abbasid period in Egypt and the Levant.
The earliest known written recipes for a dish resembling hummus bi tahina are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo in the 13th century. A cold purée of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons with herbs, spices, and oil, but no tahini or garlic, appears in the Kanz al-Fawa’id fi Tanwi’ al-Mawa’id; and a purée of chickpeas and tahini called hummus kasa appears in the Kitab Wasf al-Atima al-Mutada. It is based on puréed chickpeas and tahini, and acidulated with vinegar (though not lemon), but it also contains many spices, herbs, and nuts, and no garlic. It is also served by rolling it out and letting it sit overnight, which presumably gives it a very different texture from hummus bi tahina.
Hummus around the world.
Today, people all over the world enjoy hummus. It is a popular dish in Egypt, and among Palestinians and Jordanians, hummus has long been considered a staple food. Hummus is also a common part of everyday meals in Israel. Jewish immigrants arriving from Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century adopted much of the local Palestinian cuisine, including hummus, though it traditionally has been part of the cuisine of the Mizrahi Jews who lived in Arabic-speaking lands. In 2006, hummus was present in 12 percent of American households, rising to 17 percent by early 2009.
Find delicious hummus in Portland at Aybla Grill!
Aybla Grill offers some of the best Greek and Mediterranean foods in Portland, and our hummus is no exception. Aybla Grill likes to make dining easy for all our customers so we offer food everyone can enjoy. In addition to halal, vegan, and gluten-free dishes, Aybla Grill has several delicious vegetarian dishes, such as our hummus plate.
Visit Aybla Grill soon! Our new Greek Mediterranean restaurant is open 6 days a week for both lunch and dinner with indoor and outdoor seating. Satisfy your craving for Greek and Mediterranean foods at Aybla Grill. Contact or call us at 971-328-2041 for catering.