The dictionary defines hummus as a paste or dip made up of four basic ingredients: chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice and tahini (sesame seed paste).
This protein-rich treat is enjoyed by millions around the world and is a dietary staple for many plant-based eaters.
It is incredibly versatile; you can eat hummus on its own, use it as a dip for fresh cut veggies, or spread it on whole wheat bread and tortillas.
Although it is popular today, just 10 years ago, hummus was a rarity that was difficult to find in most supermarkets.
Now it is so well loved that it even has its own holiday—International Hummus Day, celebrated on May 13th.
More About International Hummus Day
International Hummus Day was created in 2012 by Ben Lang, a young Israeli-American entrepreneur who set out to establish “a holiday around a food that could bring people together from around the world, in particular, the Middle East.”
Therefore, what is special about International Hummus Day is that it represents not only an occasion to eat this tasty dish but a day to bring people together from different countries and cultures, all around the globe.
And in my book, that is always something worth celebrating.
Hummus, a History
The word “hummus” is actually the Arabic word for “chickpeas.” It is considered a Levantine and Egyptian delicacy although is popular throughout the Middle East, from Turkey to Morocco.
And hummus has been around a while.
It has long been a staple in Middle Eastern and African cuisine, with some records dating it to cookbooks written in Cairo in the 13th century.
Many cultures try to claim the honor of being the original creators of hummus but, unfortunately, little is known about where it really comes from.
What Is so Great About Hummus Anyway?
Besides being a delicious, plant-based diet staple, hummus actually has quite a few health benefits.
For example, hummus is rich in protein, dietary fiber, manganese, B vitamins, and iron.
Finally, butyrate (a short chain fatty acid resulting from the consumption of chickpeas) seems to suppress cell proliferation, which may reduce the risk of certain cancers, including colorectal cancers.
And the best part?
It is virtually impossible to get bored of hummus since it can be prepared in a variety of ways and with so many different flavors.
How to Celebrate
If you have never eaten hummus before, International Hummus Day is the perfect time to give it a try.
Or, if you are already a devoted hummus lover, you can take a picture of your favorite hummus creation and post it to social media using the hashtag #HummusDay in order to inspire others to jump on the hummus bandwagon!
Of course, another way to celebrate is by making your own hummus from scratch with our recipe for no oil added Homemade Hummus. In it, we share instructions for classic hummus as well as five tasty varieties!
Remember that hummus is a treat to be enjoyed all year round, not just on May 13th.
Happy International Hummus Day and have fun celebrating this wonderful chickpea dish and the spirit of global togetherness!