Monday, October 26, 2009

The hummus controversy continues!

The regional fight over the national bragging rights to hummus has continued in force this week. The AP wrote an article about a bowl of hummus made in Lebanon that is apparently the largest ever made. The article was printed all over place and you can see it here, here, here, and here!

(Associated Press)

The driving factor behind the decision to make such a mammoth amount of hummus seems to be the Lebanese desire to claim hummus as their own, and to make it clear that it is most definitely not Israeli.

Why is it that the Lebanese feel so passionate about this issue? I have no doubt that the historical conflict with Israel is a large reason, but I think there's more to it. In Israel we have trademark rights protecting Jaffa oranges. The French are trying to have UNESCO recognize french cuisine as part of the world's cultural heritage. All over the world there are strong feelings over traditional dishes. Food is an important part of each person's cultural identity, and I think we're seeing this reflected in that enormous 2 ton bowl of hummus.


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