Friday, September 16, 2011

Hmmm... What IS Hummus Anyway?

Hmmmm..... hummus.. something we enjoy as an appetizer with small pieces of flatbread, or pita bread - has a great, rich flavor and is becoming more and more popular as a (somewhat) healthier alternative to other pre-meal nibbles or afternoon snacks. But WHAT is it? And most importantly, is it GREEK?

Turns out, not. It's a popular dish throughout the Middle East - and appears to have originated there too. But don't fret: the Pita bread we eat it with definitely IS! (The actual word being from Byzantine Greekπίτα meaning pie.) Opa!

Back to hummus.What's in it? Well, recipes vary by region and culture - but it's mostly cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with sesame seed paste (tahini), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. And what's best about it - is that it's a healthy alternative to so many other snacks. Why? Hummus has tons of vitamin C, iron, folate and vitamin B6. Being 'beany' - it's also chock-full of protein and fiber. 

In Greece, it's typically served as part of a meze (appetizer or small plate) or as a side dish to grilled chicken, fish or eggplant.