2) If one is to put any credence in biblical accounts of history (and one would be advised not to put too much credence in them, one reads in the Hebrew Bible that Moses encountered the peoples of Canaan as he migrated to the “Promised Land.” Whichever exile the ancient Hebrews supposedly suffered (yes, I’m challenging biblical historiography in hopes that a better source for historical knowledge will emerge), there is no reason to believe that the Canaanites, the Samaritans, the Philistines, or whichever peoples were living on the land, were also removed from it, thereby making one of the most important geopolitical positions on earth back then (as now) empty of people. “The attempts to understand the phenomenon relate to different fields and to complex cultural, historic and economic factors: Hummus is first of all a nutritious food that provides a full meal at a relatively low cost. forgot about the russians…. Since the discussion originally touched on origins and etymologies of famous ME dishes, can I return to all that and ask someone where the word “pita” comes from? Many cultures would love to claim hummus as their own, but unfortunately, because hummus has been around for so long, the exact origin has been lost.. What we know for sure is that chickpeas have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years. In fact, I totally disagree on these type of “which nationality made this food first” arguments. Hopefully we’ll reach the day when identities will become blurred much as chickpeas are blurred into tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. And the way the Israeli falafel is served is, in my opinion, the main reason why Israeli falafel is truly, well, Israeli. 1 can of cooked chickpeas. Of course. As for the origins of Palestinians, they did not migrate from what is Saudi Arabia in the last few centuries. That’s how national identities are formed. So, Hummus, Falafel and Shawarma are uncommon in other Arab states? We do know that today’s Egyptians, for example, aren’t the decedents of ancient Egyptians but mostly of Saudi tribes who conquered Egypt in the 7th century AD, in the name of Islam. Falafel is an ancient dish that has been popular in Egypt and now the rest of the Middle East. When it comes to hummus & falafel we are experts. I worked out for myself, around 1980, how to make hummus because I couldn’t find a recipe – no www then – and once made 300 portions of hummus (1984?) 2 teaspoons of ground cumin. Jews who lived in Egypt and Syria where exposed to falafel for centuries. Hummus, with its various other spellings such as ‘houmous’, ‘humus’, ‘hommus’ or ‘hommos’, is an Arabic word that means ‘chickpea’. Unlike the chilli, which freezes great. There was always a Jewish community here – when falafel was brought here from Egypt by the Copts, and when hummus was eaten here by the Crusaders, and also when Ottoman Turks brought Shawarma with them. Falafel is so synonymous with Israeli food that the Israeli Ministry of Information and Diaspora Affairs has even asked Israelis to explain to people abroad that Israel has plenty more to offer, and that Israelis do not eat falafel and hummus three times a day! Slice buns and spread each one with a generous layer of hummus. Still, I wish hummus was left out of it. Such rhetoric, however, scarcely matches up with the facts. In our era, those foods are considered Israeli, because it was mostly Israelis who brought them to Europe and the US. 2. both Israelis and Palestinians perfected humus and falalfal to levels that I didn’t vote for the current government, as I know most Palestinians didn’t vote for Hamas, or regret doing so (and those who did , didn’t do it because Hamas sent suicide bombers into Israeli cities, but because they were disappointed with Fatah). What I don’t understand is why Hishmeh don’t respect the fact that there are also Arabs who see themselves as Israelis, having and Israeli citizenship, speaking both the official Israeli languages (Arab and Hebrew) and sharing a glamorous cuisine with the Jewish citizens of Israel. Coincidently, only two weeks later in NYC, an Israeli chef managed to fry a 24 lb. Hummus in Israel is so good cuz it’s made by Arabs. Image Credit: Dubai: Turns out humus is so well loved, that every year on May 13th, the creamy dip gets an entire day of appreciation. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans well. ), German sauerkraut, Iraqi fried eggplant and pickled mango sauce, Yemeni hot sauce and French fries (to name just a few of the additions). (Though, Jews from other Arab countries, north African and Yemeni, wouldn’t have had much experience with these foods prior to migration) And, surely, just as pizza has become an integral part of US-popular cuisine, falafel and hummus have become an integral part of Israeli popular cuisine. taste for food with them. It’s a bread people assume to be Arab but as there is no letter “p” in Arabic, the word itself can’t come from it. Let them soak overnight. and theres a falafel shop like every kilometer. She wanted to know how she can convince them this is not the case.”. *Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with tahini sauce, ~4 falafel per serving, ~1/4 cup hummus per serving, ~6 olives per serving, and without chili garlic sauce or garlic dill sauce. It was later used by Sephardic Jews as a name for the Arab bread, and had spread to the world from there. Please remember a couple of things 1) borders were fluid until the twentieth century. The accusation that Israel has “stolen” the falafel and the hummus, which is Middle Eastern in its origin, is part of the PA’s denial of the existence of … Israeli or not, falafel in a pita bread with hummus and tahini dip, and with a chopped vegetable salad is a well balanced meal that will work well for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else coming for dinner. 1. It’s cheap and easy to make, so there’s no reason not to prepare it often. Coming to food, one simply cannot experience Middle Eastern cuisine without tasting this delicacy made from chickpeas or fava beans. And what you do make often turns out to be really good. “Today we’re going to make a recipe that I know you’ll love, a falafel and hummus Buddha bowl”. Thanks Shooky. Add remaining hummus to a food processor along with drained beans, flour, and cilantro. Do we have any idea what kind(s) of bread and recipees for it “pita” stood for in Eretz Israel during the Talmudic period? Not appetizing. So you see, we can argue about this for all eternity. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/falafel-with-hummus-357351 And ful is mentioned repeatedly in the Mishnah and as fethiye says, shawarma/doner/gyro is Turkish in origin, as are many “Middle-Eastern” dishes. I don’t see the Germans accusing Americans of stealing their hamburgers. To make it even easier, you can double the recipe and freeze half of the mixture (before adding the flour and baking soda) then thaw it to fry fresh falafel when you’re ready. 1.most Jewish Israelis today come from Arab countries and brought there 2 Hummus The earliest known written recipes for a dish resembling hummus bi tahina are recorded in cookbooks written in Cairo in the 13th century Topped with our enchilada sauce and cheese. to anyone who said that hummus and falafel isn’t served in countries like lebanon, egypt, syria, etc… you’re dead wrong. You’re probably thinking of falafel. We serve up authentic vegetarian falafel, hummus, bowls and sides made daily with all natural, fresh ingredients. So it’s more reasonable to think of a way we can live here together. Place on a baking sheet and set aside. I agree with Xenobia, and I too would like to thank shooky for the work he is doing. Peasants surely were not so mobile, though they did move as necessity dictated, too. One theory is that it came from India in the 6 th century A.D. Observing international hummus day makes plenty of sense. A recipe for a ‘cold purée of chickpeas with vinegar and pickled lemons topped with herbs, spices, and oil appears, in an old Egyptian cookbook called ‘Kenz al-Fawa'id Fi Tanwi' Al Mawa'id’. I didn’t make the pitta – a bit of a mission – but I did make money, and friends. and 300 portions of chilli sin carne, sold it all in pitta bread with salad at a pop festival, in a day! History tells us that the earliest known recipes for "hummus bi tahini" are recorded in 13th century cookbooks. They all found SOME local Arab populations, just as they found my Ancestors, in Jerusalem and Safad. That being said, though, based on historical information, hummus likely originated from ancient Egypt. And that’s probably because it’s been eaten by the poorest people (except those in Egypt, were the national legume is the broad-bean). “Eat For Good” is the ethos behind our brand and movement. If we could only accept the situation we find ourselves in, and then work out a way to make things as fair and survivable, and as good, for all, as we can… like when you go to see what you have in your cupboard to cook, and make something out of what there is (I am imagining the shop is shut, or that I have no money anyway). LISTEN, North African Jews Also Murdered at Death Camp Sobibor, New Excavation, North African Jews Also Murdered at Death Camp Sobibor, New Excavation Reveals. Then there’s the ease with which hummus was industrialized (unlike falafel), which made it a product for mass consumption. 1/4 cup of fresh coriander. Palestinians trace their ancestry to that time and before, even claiming some Hebrew parentage. They brought with them the chickpea version of the dish from Yemen and introduced the concept of serving falafel balls in pita bread. and it does no service to anyone. They will double in size as they soak you will have between 4 and 5 cups of beans after soaking. Throughout the 18-19th centuries, a number of pilgrims and explorers came to Israel, and wrote about it and drew maps of it. In fact, the word hummus means chickpea in Arabic. About the confiscation of lands and farms etc. Israeli falafel is typically served in a pita with hummus and tahini dip and salad items of your choice. But the origin of falafel likely lies somewhere in Egypt, instead. There’s no problem as far as I’m concerned (and I’m Palestinian) with Israelis integrating falafel and hummus into their national popular cuisine. You just have to get on and make something else. But only in Syria and Israel (including “the territories” of course) has hummus become such a basic and important dish. But, there’s no real reason to doubt that a people who have been extant on the land for countless generations wouldn’t legitimately trace their heritage to the earliest days. From an array of delicious falafels and yummy hummus platters, to healthy wraps, and salads to powerhouse meal boxes, Falafel’s has slightly tempered all of these to suit the Indian […] 04 The History. You can read all about it in my post Hummus, is it Israeli or Arab. One chef quotes Hazan, a falafel stall owner in Nazareth, who told her, “There’s a secret in every falafel ball.” Plates of hummus piled up in Gaza. I come here to read about hummus. I used often to freeze it, but it doesn’t keep well frozen for more than a couple of weeks. Anyhow, the political situation in Israel is really more complicated than that. Interestingly, my family does trace its origins to the Arabian peninsula, but has had a continuous presence around Gaza since at least 1100 AD. The Israeli falafel is served in a pita bread and may include Israeli salad (oops, I meant Arab salad), hummus (did I mention the hummus war? I say: in my heart I believe this land is “mine”, but this does not give me the right to hurt other people. And, even then, there were still patches of non-Arab peoples living there, up until the first political Zionist colonies were established in the last fifth of the 19th century. It is soft, chewy, and melt-in-the-mouth goodness. The History of Hummus. PA media: 'Israel steals Palestinian falafel, hummus to create own history' 'Since food reveals each people’s culture and history, occupation attempts to steal everything that is … If everything was peaceful in our region this probably wouldn’t be an issue worth arguing about. Kibbeh, falafel, hummus, Tzatziki, tabbouleh, bread. I know there are many, many Israeli’s like you, but it’s nice to hear it, again. This combination cannot be any more Israeli. The name “Palestine” BTW, derives from the name of the “Plishtim” (Philistine), Phoenicians who came here from Lebanon and are mentioned in the bible. Or, anyway, the overwhelming majority of them didn’t. On the other hand, we have 3000 years of sequent Hebrew literature mentioning the land of Israel and Zion. This is why I believe a Palestinian state should be founded, beside Israel, and I hope It’ll happen soon. Although as far as I know, most of the Palestinians are descendants of people who came here from Saudi-Arabia in the past few centuries, and despite the fact that my own ancestors were here for the last seven generation, I don’t think either of us – Israelis or Palestinians – “owns” the land. Because one day, when Jewish people will return to the land of Israel, there will be people who’d say this land isn’t theirs…”. Falafel Inc is the world’s first falafel fast casual food social enterprise. Now, while there were “Arab” tribes/clans/peoples in Palestine for thousands of years (again, look at the Bible), the land surely wasn’t “Arabized” until the second or third generation after the Prophet Muhammed. It’s no good shouting at the kids for eating all the cheese. So who’s right? Falafel and Hummus Pita. Just in time for Israel's Independence Day, Vered Guttman gives us the scoop on how to make and eat these delicious treats. It’s not the deliberate conspiracy Hishmeh imagines it as and Israelis mostly laugh when they hear it but it was what I believed for quite a while. This is one of the main reasons why people cannot get along, in my opinion, as they are so similar in many ways but cannot accept that fact. But about 40% of the Jewish population of Israel are Sepharadic Jews, from Arab and North African countries. According to several historical sources, the earliest mention of hummus dates back to Egypt in the 13th century. In the case as what most Middle Easterns call “shawarma”, I believe it has no meaning in Arabic or Hebrew (please correct me if I am wrong) but it is a derivation of “çevirme” from Turkish which could be translated to “the act of rotation.”. Despite all the claims and counter-claims, falafel was almost certainly developed in Egypt, although when and by whom is a matter of debate. At Akramawi, a 65-year-old hummus joint by Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, a cook named Nader Tarawe was showing me how to prepare hummus. First of all, for those who haven’t tried … Does that give them the right to use it then in their new country? – I totally agree. In the countries that i just named, if you go to practically any traditional restaurant hummus would be one of the first plates you would get on the table, and they would do it automatically, its not even something you have to order. Later on he more or less explains how Israelis are trying to steal the fame of Arab cuisine, a claim I already know for some time – only he goes back some 40 years to establish that claim, involving people and deeds which were better left alone. The recipe for hummus … Can you think of Palestinian equivalents? elie – actually, Ashkenazi people are the majority in Israel since the ’90s, because of the vast immigration of former USSR Jews to Israel. In sandwich form, the falafel comes in a soft, round pita (brought in from a New York bakery, Levin says) stuffed with cucumber, tomato, cabbage, creamy hummus, tahini and four or … Open a can of Israeli pickled cucumbers and serve it all in pita bread filled with the hot falafel balls. $15. Two years ago, 300 Lebanese chefs fried 5 tons of falafel balls. (Hishmeh himself makes that point at the end of the colum, although he seems oblivious to its implications.). Adam – indeed, the Arabs call it “chubz” which means “bread”. It makes me sad that even on a blog about hummus we can’t get away from politics. We also share a common tragedy, of a bloody ongoing conflict for far too long. I was sure that Israel’s neighbors also eat lots of these dishes. Veggie Quinoa Enchilada. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flatbread known as taboon; "falafel" also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. Non of them mentioned a mass of Arab people who were living here. LISTEN, Will Bibi and the Arab Voters Get Married, and Where Has Ideology Gone? There are also 2500-3000 year relics, including old synagogues in Israel. JSinger – That said, Hishmeh’s daughter is correct that American Jews do mostly think that falafel and hummus are *uniquely* Israeli foods invented in Israel by Jews. But then again, food fights might be a better choice. Many people I know agrees that we are all victims of evil and stupidity from both sides. (That’s quite a career Nino Jose Heredia has carved out for himself in Dubai!). 1 Falafel While the origin of falafel is unknown and controversial, a common theory is that the dish originated in Egypt. But then in the world we live in, everything is about politics, and politics is about everything. Israelis – just like their neighbors – did many stupid things over the years. Hell, we all have to eat, and one might as well eat well. Israel isn’t the only place where it’s served. In the 10th century AD Rashi (Rabbi Shlomoh Yitzhaki) wrote: “why is the Torah starting with the story of creation? Hummus, Falafel and Shawarma ARE Arab foods. Falafel was made popular in Israel by Yemeni Jews in the 1950s. Fūl, falafel, and hummus are the cornerstones of Kuwaiti cuisine, though Western fast-food restaurants abound in Kuwait city. 2–3 red onions. As far as I know, Syrian are no less hummus eaters than we are, and you can certainly find hummus on all our neighbors’ tables, except Egyptians. But as with anything else in the Middle East, politics can't be left out of the equation. Falafel is most often served in a pita, with pickles, tahina, hummus, cut vegetable salad and often, harif, a hot sauce, the type used depending on the origin of the falafel maker. Nor does it seem any more likely … Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. So, what really is a falafel? not sure what country the author is in but it is most definitely not true that people in the US consider these to be israeli food. But if I can’t, I am grateful for this blog for giving me the information I need to try to make my own. The Levant has always been a crossroads. But this has nothing to do with the right of one man or another over territories and foods. I already addressed the issue of subjecting hummus and other middle-eastern foods to political disputes. And, because they are more common in Israel than in any Arab country. And I mean common both between Israeli Jews AND Israeli Arabs – which people like Hishmeh insist are Palestinians. Better even that what you had planned. Being here together, sharing the same place and culture, is a given fact. Key difference: Falafel and Hummus are both Middle Eastern foods prepared using Chickpeas as their prime ingredient. Now forget the rest of the explanation, which is the Jewish narrative – can you think of a Palestinian equivalent? falafel ball. Make an easy tahini dip by mixing 1/2 cup tahini with 1/2 cup water and 1/3 cup lemon juice and some salt. You put it into words better than I do (probably due to the fact that English is not my mother tongue). Posted on August 30, 2007 by Shooky Galili in Hummus, World of Hummus // 22 Comments. Dear Jar, Israelis who argue falafel is their own face strong objections from Egyptians, Palestinians and Lebanese, who themselves claim to be the sole owners of these fried chickpea balls. most people in the world just dont get! But I can’t help commenting on this piece, a column by George S. Hishmeh titled ” The undeclared war on Arab cuisine”. As an American living abroad in a city where I can’t find good hummus (though — there has to be some out there somewhere, doesn’t there? Ottoman Turks brought Shawarma with them. ), I’m determined to MAKE good hummus for me and my son to enjoy. But, ask the average American what he/she she considers the origins of pizza. The word falafel has a long and tasty history. Our hummus, tahini and salads are … I guess that Iraqis, Lybians and people from more distant countries focus on other dishes, but I was sure that Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians do eat a lot of Hummus…. Just imagine! I disagree with “shawarma” being an Arab food. It doesn’t take much to guess that they ate some form of hummus, too. Is there some mythologizing? Pour the chickpeas into a large bowl and cover them by about 3 inches of cold water. and it is arab people, mostly syrian, lebanese, and egyptian, who own the restaurants where these foods are served. The falafel debate has actually turned into a verifiable food fight, much like the Great Hummus War between Israel and Lebanon, ongoing over the last few few years. Chop some tomatoes and Israeli cucumbers (unless if you prefer to call them Persian cucumbers) for a simple salad. Hey Yohay, Not only are chickpeas a great addition to salads or as a side dish, the small but mighty ingredient is the basis for two major Mediterranean staples: falafel and hummus. Is it a Turkish word? And you're probably right, assuming that the question has one answer. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. So maybe, just maybe, some of the Palestinians are descendents of these people too? The difference between them is that Hummus is a ground paste of select chickpeas combined with olive oil, spices and herbs. What is the most Israeli food? Many claim to be the first to have invented falafel. But if you want to make that argument, I usually try to see if the name of the food makes any sense in any language. Falafel most likely originated in Egypt (though others claim it comes from India), where it is called ta’amiya and is made from fava beans. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze tray (assortment of appetizers). Palestinians are the descendants of people who have been living in the land we call Palestine/Israel from time immemorial (no apologies to Joan Peters) and those who came and went over the centuries. Since food always traveled with immigrants, and local cuisines were adapted in new places, this discussion seems almost beside the point. 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