Put Politics Aside and Dip Into International Hummus Day

May 13 is International Hummus Day, a four-year-old initiative that's spreading out - in Israel and beyond.

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Msabaha with roast eggplant; ceramic dishes: Irit Goldberg, Old Jaffa.
Msabaha with roast eggplant; ceramic dishes: Irit Goldberg, Old Jaffa.Credit: Limor Laniado Tiroche

Wednesday, May 13 is International Hummus Day. You weren't aware? That might be because the holiday is only four years old: It was launched in 2012 by an American-Israeli entrepreneur, Ben Lang, at a hackathon dedicated to promoting Israel around the world.

Since then, the project has been gaining traction. This may be partly because the media can't seem to avoid a good story about hummus - the event was picked up almost immediately by blogs and food publications. Facebook is also playing a role: some 38,000 people have confirmed their attendance at the 4th International Hummus Day event. Meanwhile, Israeli hummus manufacturer Strauss and its subsidiary Sabra have jumped on the bandwagon, while famed hummus restaurant Abu Gosh, located in the Arab village of Abu Gosh in the outskirts of Jerusalem, has stated it is offering a free half-liter of hummus to customers who stop by on Wednesday.

While Lang maintains that he launched the holiday to "bring people together from around the world, in particular the Middle East," International Hummus Day is not without controversy, much like hummus itself. Last year, a Twitter account named Lebanese Problems wished its 26,000 followers a happy international hummus day, but added, "P.S. Hummus is not Israeli."

Want to try some top-notch hummus? If you're in Israel you can check out Rotem Maimon's recommendations for the top 11 hummus restaurants. Or you could make it yourself: Limor Laniado Tiroche offers seven recipes, including classic hummus, musabaha and hummus with fava beans, while Vered Guttman brings you lemony hummus, White House style.

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