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Adventures in food for curious cooks.

Week 4 - Hummus and the Middle East

This week, we learned about the flavors of the Middle East and made Classic Hummus.

Welcome To the Middle East!

This week, we enjoyed the flavor of the Middle East!  Click to watch a video from the band we listened to in class.

Until recently, the band 'Light in Babylon" was busking on the streets of Istanbul.  Their album is available on iTunes.

map of middle east

We found the Middle East on our classroom globe. 

This area is sometimes called the “cradle of civilization.”  It’s where the most ancient civilizations came from, where humanity learned agriculture for the very first time, where the earliest human empires arose:  ancient Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt.



Hummus - The Flavor of Ancient Humanity

Hummus is an ancient food, made with ingredients that date back to the dawn of civilization.  The oldest recipe for hummus that anyone has ever found was in Egypt.  From Egypt, it spread across the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East.

The main ingredient in hummus is chickpeas (also known as "garbanzo beans").  Chickpeas were one of the very first crops human beings every learned to grow.  The other ingredients in hummus - tahini from sesame seeds, olive oil from olives, garlic, cumin - are all ancient foods of this region.

When you eat hummus, you are tasting the flavors of ancient civilizations, of kings and peasants a thousand years ago!

Hummus Recipes

Americans are great at innovating, even in the kitchen!  Although classic hummus is an ancient food, Americans now enjoy  many different versions, some of which don't even include chickpeas!

Here are some of our favorite recipes:

Classic Hummus - The classic flavors of ancient civilizations, enjoyed in the Middle East for thousands of years.

Artichoke Olive Hummus - From our friend Jack.  Artichokes, olives and sun-dried tomatoes make this a unique and delicious alternative to classic hummus.

Black Bean "Hummus" - From our friend Jack, with no chickpeas but all the attitude of a great hummus.

Mediterranean White Bean Dip - From our friend Deb, with no chickpeas but bursting with Mediterranean flavor.

Next Week:  Pinwheels!