Humus Hunting in Tel Aviv
By: Roye SalomonWhile there are some who claim that the falafel is the most Israeli of foods, the true king of Israeli food is, undoubtedly the heavenly dish called Humus. For those who have yet to enjoy good humus, I profess envy. Humus (also spelled hoummos, homus and hummus) is a Middle Eastern paste made of pureed chickpeas (garbanzo beans). These are mixed with garlic, lemon, spics and sesame paste (Tahina). Olive oil is drizzled on the top. This is eaten with Pita bread using the pita to wipe (lenagev) the humus, traditionally with your hands.
Ask most Israelis where you can find good humus in any region of the country and watch their mouths water at the nostalgia of some long forgotten humus.
|Now humus is no trifle subject. Each Israeli will have his favorite humus site, his opinion on Israel's Best Hummus and his personal ideology of how it should be eaten. Some like humus with full (fava bean paste) others with chickpea topping (gargirim), others with pine nuts (im Zneobarim) other yet will have it with a hard boiled egg (beitza). With olive oil, without olive oil, lemon juice or spicy chili sauce (harif) the variations are endless. The search for the perfect humus is an Israeli pastime.|
When I was a child in Jerusalem my father would take me to a humus Mecca by the name of “Teami” where during the bustle of lunchtime the waiter would holler “Don’t chew, swallow” in order to urge on the customers. Humus is usually a no nonsense business, don’t come looking for décor or romantic dinning, as you may be seated with others (good way to meet people though!). But don’t take my word for it… go have one!
Humus (Chickpea) is said to have been grown in this region for 6000 years, and its virtues are described by Socrates as early as 400 B.C. It is considered highly nutritious and low on fats.
|Highly nutritious and low on fats, it is said that homus has been grown in the region of Israel for 6000 years|
Where to go…Tel Aviv top Humus placesHere are my Tel Aviv top Humus places (though my father still says they can’t make good Humus in Tel Aviv):
|Abu Chasan (Ali Karavan)- See Humus Hunters: Jaffa|
- Humus Shlomo (Hakompleat). Shlomo has been serving Humus out of the same small kitchen for over 50 years. His father started the business when the British still controlled Palestine. Shlomo is a master of Humus and a great guy. Shlomo’s humus is hidden among the alleyways of Shouk Hacarmel. Not so easy to find but well worth the effort. I eat here a couple of times every week. PR. 14-30pp.
- Abu Adham on Karlibach st. serves Arab style Humus, very interesting and reminiscent of the Galilee Humus. PR. 15-35pp.
- Stuck in the north of Tel Aviv, worry not. Humus Asaf on Yermiyahu st. is a good place to sit down and have a good quality, creamy humus. Nice guy too. PR. 18-35 pp.
- Northern Tel Aviv humus is Humus Ashkara on Yermiyahu st. Good thick humus with eggs. A traditional humus place. Good value. PR. 18-30 pp.
- Funny that both falafel and humus are made from the same thing…
- Use, don’t abuse, humus can give you gas…
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