Is it hommus or hummus?

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Have you ever wondered what the correct spelling is for hommus or hummus and who invented the dish? While it is dipped, spread, served with crackers and loved all over the world, who can claim it as their own?

The topic sparked a social media debate in the UK and many experts believe “hummus” is the most accurate spelling as it’s the closest to the Arabic translation for the word. The word “hummus” come from an Arabic word that means “chickpeas” which may be derived from the Aramaic language. This is an ancient language that spanned the middle to late Bronze age – so super old! It’s thought that the world entered the English language in the mid 20th century. The most common spelling seems to be “hummus” in most dictionaries but if you want to use “houmous” you can do so with confidence as some people believe that spelling connotes a more Arabic pronunciation of the word.

There are so many theories on the origins of hummus but no evidence to prove the claim. The basic recipe of chickpeas, sesame, lemon and garlic has been eaten in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean region of Western Asia for centuries (sometimes referred to The Levant this refers to modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordon and Cyprus. But then some people sat the Egyptians, and the Greeks invented the dish.

Hummus derivation is no laughing matter though; the matter of hummus derivation and ownership has gone to the EU. In 2008 the Hummus Wars began when Lebanon accused Israel of cashing in on what they believed should have been Lebanon’s legacy, publicity and money. The president of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, angry that hummus had come to be known and marketed throughout the west as an Israeli dish, sued Israel for infringement of food-copyright laws. The Lebanese government petitioned the EU to recognise hummus a as Lebanese.

Then in 2010 the minister of Tourism for Lebanon thought that making a plate of hummus so large it would be recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records would set the record straight. And it did … for about 6 months with plate of hummus that weighed around 2,000kg. Then Israel responded with a 4,082 kilo of the hummus served in a satellite dish. Finally, Lebanon responded with a 10,450-kilo dish of hummus and have held the record since.

While the derivation matters to businesses and tourism ministers, the question often asked by foodies is “Who is making it best?” Some delightful hummus tips for deliciousness include:

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