The Hummus War: Lebanon Takes on Israel
Travel Blog • Joanna Kakissis • 10.10.08 | 10:47 AM ET
Fadi Abboud of the Lebanese Industrialists Association says the popular chickpea dip as well as dishes such as falafel, baba ghannouj and tabbouleh belong to Lebanon, not Israel. So his organization is planning to sue the Israelis for food copyright infringement, modeling their case after Greece’s successful branding of feta cheese. Will it work?
Everyone makes hummus in the Middle East (and even Greece) so it’s hard to know who owns it. “But attempts to claim the food as a ‘national dish’ remain a reliable way to start nationalistic squabbles across the region,” writes David Kenner in Foreign Policy’s Passport blog.
Meanwhile, Time reports the best hummus in the Holy Land can be found at Lina’s in Jerusalem. Time’s Tim McGirk asked Lina’s owner Ghalib Zahdeh: Who invented hummus?
“Who cares?” Zahdeh answered. “Everybody makes good hummus around here—except the Egyptians.”