A plate of hummus served in a Beirut restaurant. The dish, made from chickpeas, olive oil, sesame paste, lemon juice and garlic, has become a vital tool in a propaganda war with Israel. Chefs from both countries regularly swap the world record for the biggest portion ever made.
Lebanon – Fact Check

A better kind of conflict in the Middle East

Photo by PhotoStock-Israel

Lebanon – Fact Check A better kind of conflict in the Middle East

Israel and Lebanon continue to fight an underground war over hummus that hopefully will have fewer casualties than their other battles.

Kieran Meeke
Kieran Meeke Travel Writer

The dispute is partly tongue-in cheek but also a serious matter. The goal is to achieve the EU’s Protected Designated Origin status for hummus, in a similar manner to Champagne and Feta cheese. “Feta” cheese made outside Greece, for example, can only be sold with descriptions such as “Greek-style cheese”. As part of the PR battle, Beirut set a Guinness World Record in October 2009, making two tons of hummus. The Arab Israeli town of Abu Gosh, the self-proclaimed “Hummus Capital of the World” hit back in January 2010 with a four-ton dish prepared by 50 chefs.

In May 2010, Lebanese celebrity chef Ramzi Nadim Shwayri gathered 300 of his students to fill a massive ceramic plate specially created by Lebanese architect, Joe Kabalan. They achieved a total weight of 11.5 tons setting a new record record for the largest plate as well as the largest serving of hummus.

If you want to know more about hummus, the Hummus Blog has the irresistible tagline: “Eat hummus. Give chickpeas a chance.”

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