Poll Reveals Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Israelis' Hummus-eating Habits

When pollsters run out of topics to survey they tackle the curious question of just how many Israelis eat hummus regularly. The numbers are predictably high.

Hummus at Abu Elias in Acre.
Dan Peretz

Nearly 70% of Israelis have hummus in their refrigerator, 93% of Israelis eat it weekly, more than half of them like wiping it from the bowl in a circular motion, and only 9% see hummus as a symbol of Arab-Jewish coexistence.

These are the findings of a survey into Israelis’ hummus eating habits, conducted in advance of Independence Day.

The survey, commissioned by credit card company Diners Card and the Hummus Abu Ghosh restaurant, was conducted by the Geocartography Institute headed by Prof. Avi Degani.

The findings are based on surveys with 500 people considered a representatives sample of Israel’s adult population.

The survey also coincides with International Hummus Day, which is May 13.

The survey found that 68% of respondents have hummus in their fridge on a regular basis. On average, Israelis eat hummus more than twice a week, with 93% eating it more than once a week. 

Some 5% of Israelis eat hummus six times a week. 

Some 60% of respondents buy their hummus at a grocery store, while 15% shop at hummus restaurants and 13% make their hummus themselves. The percentage of home hummus makers was particularly high among those aged 55 and up - 22%.

Israelis’ favorite hummus topping is tahini with 38% of respondents choosing it; another 23% said their favorite topping was whole cooked chickpeas, and only 4% choosing ful, fava bean paste .

As for how they like to eat their hummus, nearly half of those surveyed  said they like to scoop the hummus from the bowl by wiping the pita in a circular motion. Another 15% said they like to scoop it up with the pita, and 20% said they just use a fork.

The survey also took a look at the nationalist aspect of eating hummus. Half of respondents said hummus is of Arab origin, while 25% said it is Israeli. Men were more likely than woman to call hummus Israeli - 31% versus 23% - while people age 55 and up were more likely to say hummus is Arab (62%). 

Some 30% of respondents called hummus Israel’s national dish, another 7% called it a symbol of Israeli consensus and 9% said it is a symbol of Arab-Jewish coexistence.