Wipers and Squeezers

I am usually not a foodie, let alone a purist. However, there was a bit of recent news from the culinary world that got my goat – or should I say, chickpea.

Eating hummus the traditional way - wiping it up with a piece of pita.

I have always liked hummus from the time I first tried it as a little girl at the Tel Aviv restaurant in Toronto. It was actually more of a hole-in-the- wall joint than much of a restaurant, and my father used to take me there as a treat  It’s funny – I don’t recall any pictures of Tel Aviv (or anywhere else in Israel) on the walls there, but I do remember looking up and staring at a poster of an Eskimo staring down at me as I ate. Weird, I know – but hey, we were in Canada, after all. And Eskimos can like hummus too, right?

That's Benji Lovitt, hummus lover supreme, on the right.

Lots of people like hummus, but probably not as much as the crazy Israeli and Lebanese hummus chefs who have been dueling it out for the past while in their great hummus war (for real). And definitely not as much as Israeli-American comic Benji Lovitt, who has both invented an alter ego named Hummus McGee and created a gag photo in which he can be seen getting a hummus i.v. You have to admit that mainlining hummus is pretty hard core.

Although hummus invariably tastes best freshly-made and while actually eating it in the Middle East (I can only vouch for how it tastes in Israel, but I would imagine that Israel’s neighbors boast their own mighty tasty varieties), I have found a few kinds sold in plastic tubs to be acceptable. I was rather smitten with the little individual-size serving cups of the stuff that I started seeing in Israeli supermarkets about a decade ago. So cute. You can imagine how happy I was to see that the US-based Sabra brand (bought out by Pepsi Co.) also started selling these hummus-lets, as I like to call them.

Up until now, I have had no problem with hummus innovation. I will admit, though, that I have been known to call into question the propriety of making the types of flavored hummus that cater to the American palate. Dill hummus – probably okay. Jalapeño hummus – also probably okay. Chocolate hummus – not okay.

This goes too far, in my opinion.

But what I am not sure I can at all abide is the new squeeze bottle hummus. Yeah, you know, like in the kinds of plastic bottles that ketchup, mustard and BBQ sauce come in these days. The brainchild of an Israeli man living in the US and married to an American woman who didn’t like the idea of getting her fingers dirty while eating her husband’s favorite food, Squeeze Z Hummus just might catch on. Which to me, would be too bad.

To those people who need the Squeeze Z because otherwise they find hummus-eating too queasy, I say, “Get a life.” Or more correctly, “Get a wipe” – as in a piece of pita.

© 2010 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.

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3 Responses to “Wipers and Squeezers”

  1. Benji Lovitt Says:

    I don’t know what you mean about me creating Chumus McGee. For crying out loud, we dated. This is really embarrassing.

  2. Chumus McGee Says:

    Way to spell my name right. Why are you people so obsessed with me?

  3. Renee Ghert-Zand Says:

    So sorry, Benji and Chumus – I guess I got your relationship all wrong! 🙂

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