The Search for Israel’s Best Hummus

Nov. 10 2022

In their recent book, whose Hebrew title translates The Big Guide to Hummusiot, three Israelis address one of their country’s most hotly debated questions: where can one find the best hummus? Dana Kessler spoke with Erez Tikolsker, one of the authors:

A hummusiah (hummusiot is the plural form) is a restaurant dedicated to hummus—just as a pizzeria is dedicated to pizza or an espresso bar is dedicated to coffee. It’s a kind of little restaurant where hummus is constantly made fresh, without colorings and preservatives, and consumed for breakfast or lunch. It’s a place where hummus is the main dish and sometimes almost the only dish served. . . . “The food arrives fast but it’s cooked slow,” Tikolsker said, trying to help me define something he never thought needed definition. “It is a place to meet with friends, but it’s not a place where you sit for hours like you would in a bar.”

Hummusiot connect Jews and Arabs, and connect you to Israel in a geographic sense because you travel to get to places with great hummus, and when you do you also visit the place around it,” Tikolsker said.

He explained the regional differences: “Jerusalem hummus is sourer; they put a lot of lemon in their paste. And it is served with lots of olive oil. When ordering hummus in Jerusalem you basically get a bowl of olive oil with hummus in it. The hummus in Jaffa, the Central District, the Sharon plain, and the Triangle [the Israeli Arab towns and villages adjacent to the Green Line, located in the eastern Sharon plain] is less sour, and more neutral in its tastes, and served with less olive oil. And then there is the Galilee hummus, which I have difficulty describing but can easily recognize when tasting it.”

Read more at Tablet

More about: Food, Israeli society


The U.S. Is Trying to Seduce Israel into Accepting a Bad Deal with Iran. Israel Should Say No

Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released its quarterly report on the Iranian nuclear program. According to an analysis by the Institute for Science and International Security, the Islamic Republic can now produce enough weapons-grade uranium to manufacture “five nuclear weapons in one month, seven in two months, and a total of eight in three months.” The IAEA also has reason to believe that Tehran has further nuclear capabilities that it has successfully hidden from inspectors. David M. Weinberg is concerned about Washington’s response:

Believe it or not, the Biden administration apparently is once again offering the mullahs of Tehran a sweetheart deal: the release of $10 billion or more in frozen Iranian assets and clemency for Iran’s near-breakout nuclear advances of recent years, in exchange for Iranian release of American hostages and warmed-over pious Iranian pledges to freeze the Shiite atomic-bomb program.

This month, intelligence photos showed Iran again digging tunnels at its Natanz nuclear site—supposedly deep enough to withstand an American or Israeli military strike. This tells us that Iran has something to hide, a clear sign that it has not given up on its quest for a nuclear bomb.

Meanwhile, Antony Blinken today completes a three-day visit to Saudi Arabia, where he is reportedly pressing the kingdom to enter the Abraham Accords. This is no coincidence, for reasons Weinberg explains:

Washington expects Israeli acquiescence in the emerging U.S. surrender to Iran in exchange for a series of other things important to Israel. These include U.S. backing for Israel against escalated Palestinian assaults expected this fall in UN forums, toning down U.S. criticism regarding settlement and security matters (at a time when the IDF is going to have to intensify its anti-terrorist operations in Judea and Samaria), an easing of U.S. pressures on Israel in connection with domestic matters (like judicial reform), a warm Washington visit for Prime Minister Netanyahu (which is not just a political concession but is rather critical to Israel’s overall deterrent posture), and most of all, significant American moves towards reconciliation with Saudi Arabia (which is critical to driving a breakthrough in Israeli-Saudi ties).

[But] even an expensive package of U.S. “concessions” to Saudi Arabia will not truly compensate for U.S. capitulation to Iran (something we know from experience will only embolden the hegemonic ambitions of the mullahs). And this capitulation will make it more difficult for the Saudis to embrace Israel publicly.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Antony Blinken, Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship