Monday, August 6, 2007

Humous Ashkara


The Palestinians argue that we not only stole their land but also their national dishes - humous and falafel - and made them our own. They may be right but, historical injustice notwithstanding, there's nothing more Israeli today than humous ( or humus or hummus) .

Open an Israeli fridge, be it that of a family hailing from Russia, Morocco, Poland, Iran, or Brazil (or just Israel), whether its owners are ultra-haredi (ultra-orthdox), super-chiloni (secular), Moslem, Christian or Bahai, be they tycoons or street sweepers, - and you'll find a container of humous.

Humous , tasty, cheap and filling , so happily adopted by the non Palestinian residents of the area , has also become a sort of glue, a neutral meeting ground for Jews and Arabs. The Arabs serve humous to the Jews, the Jews show their appreciation and come back for more. Jews who would be afraid to enter Shefaram visit Abu Ghosh in droves - for the humous. In Tel Aviv-Yaffo, Abu Hassan in Yaffo is the humous joint supreme but there are similar establishments, with names invariably starting with Abu, wherever Arabs live in close contact with Jews: in Jerusalem, Acco, Ramle, Haifa and on the roads across the Galil.

Then there are Jewish humous joints where Jews serve humous to other Jews. In Tel Aviv Rehov Yermiyahu, between the park and the port, is humousland. This evening , wife and I, peckish after paying a family visit (S, call your parents) and being close to humousland decided to go for one. At Houmous Ashkara, a no-nonsense Tel Aviv landmark, we attempted to put away one portion with snobarim (pine nuts) and another with an egg and humous bits and gave up half way through. Too much humous sticks to your tongue, without mentioning your internal organs. The raw onion and finely chopped salad brought some relief but we soon called it a day and, like the old farts that we are.... all the way home.

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