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NATIONAL HUMMUS DAY
Love it or hate it, hummus is popular. Like, cheerleader in high school popular. For most lovers of this tangy, versatile chickpea spread, every day might as well be International Hummus Day. But to make it super official, May 13 is the dedicated calendar date for fans the world over to profess their love for this incredibly tasty dip.
With its own website, Facebook group, and hashtag (#hummusday), this holiday is taken very seriously, and you can celebrate by trying the best hummus near you, making your own, or attending one of the hummus-themed festivities occurring across the globe.
HISTORY OF HUMMUS
Hummus is basically the Mac ‘n Cheese of the Middle East- a creamy comfort food bar none that is simple yet oh-so-satisfying. Unlike pasta, however, Hummus is no guilty pleasure. Chock full of nutrients such as fiber, protein, potassium, B6, folate and vitamin C, this beloved dip has been lauded for millenia for its health benefits.
In addition to its impressive list of vitamins, hummus is also an antioxidant, curbs hunger cravings, and lowers cholesterol. So, it’s no surprise that for literal ages, there’s been a debate over who is the true originator of this superfood. The Greeks like to profess it as their own (and sure, it’s believable- hello, they also brought us cheesecake and the Olympics), but the Arabs are equally passionate about laying claim. The crossover in trade between Arabs and Greeks may have led to this shared testament.
Historically, the earliest mention of hummus is from Egypt in the 13 century, due to the abundance of chickpeas in the region before wheat became a domesticated crop. The Middle East continues to be a large producer of garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), although their beloved hummus has taken the Western world by a storm as well.
And who can blame them? With its robust taste, incredible health benefits, variety of flavor profiles, and versatility, hummus is king. It’s also vegan, nut-free, gluten-free, and drama-free, which everyone can appreciate in these times. Trendy hummus bars are popping up everywhere, and even dessert hummus in flavors like Dark Chocolate, Red Velvet, and Pumpkin Pie are flying off the shelves, proving that the combination of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and garlic is one we just can’t get enough of.
FUN HUMMUS TRIVIA
Whether you use it to dip your veggies, as a base for mouthwatering “Humus Basar” (“Meat Hummus”), or just eat it straight from the container, hummus adds pizazz and a touch of Middle Eastern flair to any dish. Here are some cool facts to ponder the next time you dig in:
- International Hummus Day is the brainchild of Ben Lang, who in 2012 decided to unify the world, at least for one day, over its common love for this chickpea paste.
- The global hummus market is estimated to reach over $1 Billion by 2022.
- The Guinness World Record for the largest serving of hummus weighed in at 11.5 tons (that's 23,042 pounds or 10,452 kg!) The Lebanese creators used 8 tons of boiled hummus, 2 tons of tahini, 2 tons of lemon juice, and 154 lbs (70 kg) of olive oil, and served it on the new largest ceramic plate, which measured 7.17 m in diameter.
- Britain is the hummus capital of Europe, with 41% of people reporting they keep a tub in the fridge alongside milk or butter.
- Hummus has been known to increase happiness by promoting the release of seratonin.
- A bar in Melbourne, Australia, has a $100 Hummus dish (to be fair, it includes truffle & caviar).
- The term “hummus” means “chickpeas” in Arabic.