It’s delicious, healthy, and goes with just about everything. But what exactly is hummus, where did it come from, and how did this ancient food become a staple of the Mediterranean—and modern—worlds?
Older Than Pottery
Hummus, the Arabic word for “chickpea,” is exactly what it promises. Depending on your definition, hummus in one form or another has been around for over 10,000 years. In fact, archaeological records in the Middle East show that hummus predates the very concept of pottery. Apparently people had to start making delicious food before they got the idea to store it in containers.
Despite its murky origins in the sands of time, and massive cultural and climate shifts over the millennia, hummus has managed to not only thrive throughout the centuries, but remains miraculously similar to what people from thousands of years ago would recognize as a tasty treat.
The Modern Classic
Even today, when every town that dots the Mediterranean swears by its own recipe, most varieties of hummus are comprised of just four simple ingredients:
● Chickpeas (aka “garbanzo beans”)
● Tahini (sesame seed paste)
We’ll let you in on our tradition: at Nanoosh, we don’t use garlic in our hummus. Our recipe calls for 100% organic chickpeas, sourced from traditional farmers in the Mediterranean. And it’s more than just a spread: filled with protein, it makes an excellent base for our power food bowls, or a dish all its own topped with free-range meats or organic veggies.
Hummus Through the Ages
You can see exactly when new ingredients worked their way into the hummus recipe over the centuries by looking at ancient trade routes.
Lemons first arrived in the Middle East from China in 700 CE. Garlic appeared in Egypt as far back as 2500 BCE, and sesame seeds and chickpeas have existed since the dawn of civilization. Hummus slowly began to include new spices and tastes as they arrived in the Mediterranean from exotic places. In fact, one might argue that new spices and tastes arrived in the Mediterranean because of hummus.
Hummus: The Stone Age Snack
When you dip a warm piece of pita into a fresh bowl of hummus, you’re reaching back through the sands of time to taste the Stone Age.
Hummus has been a staple of Mediterranean cuisine for all of human history. Try some of our own hummus at Nanoosh—made in-house, fresh every day—to see why it’ll last another 10,000 years.