When I was growing up I would beg my dad to open a can of chick peas so I could eat them straight out of the can. It was the perfect treat -no lettuce that could get in the way. Later, he taught me to make hummus and I thought perhaps all dreams of vegetarianism had come true. Soon after, years of vegetarianism gone bad resulted in an aversion to humus, but then I visited Israel.
Above is what was called 'the best Hummus in Israel': by our guide book, my cousin, the Israelis sitting across from us at the most crowded of lunch tables. Tucked inside the souk in Old Acre (Akko), we stood in line and spoke English with smiles simply repeating 'hummus' hoping we'd get it. Our waiter, who spoke English just fine, laughed at us and brought us what you see above: a plate of tahina thick with oil and chick peas, a plate of onion, pickle, hot pepper, olive and tomato and some hot pita. Always one to be in Rome, I followed the men across from me as they ate it with their forks - only to have them turn to me later and say 'no fork!' and mime how to wipe my bowl clean with pita.
If only I were a plate cleaner.
The hummus we had across Israel and the Palestinian Territories varied - most was thick and creamy and delicious. Some was thinner, with a few sad chick peas on top. Others, even the one on the flight home on El Al, were creamy with something quick thick and, well, cream-y. Some were too bitter and not fresh, but this one - this one was incredible.