- By Bobby PierceBobby Pierce is an editorial researcher at Foreign Policy.
The Lebanese sure showed Israel this weekend. For years, the two held the same thing sacred, while only one could hold the title. That title, of course, is who could make the largest batch of hummus.
Israel used to hold the record for making the largest plate of the dip, but no longer after Lebanese chefs served up over two tons of chickpea-y goodness on Saturday. The entire affair is comical in the sense that too often it seems like neither side is actually talking about hummus.
The slogan for the event was, “Come and fight for your bite, you know you’re right,” illustrating the growing frustration. Several Lebanese businessmen also used the belligerent rhetoric.
“Lebanon is trying to win a battle against Israel,” Fady Jreissati, the events promoter said. “Hummus is a Lebanese product and part of our traditions.”
This isn’t the first time the two counties have clashed over the dish, last year the Association of Lebanese Industrialists sued Israel in an effort to stop them from marketing hummus as Israeli. Saturday, the head of that group said, “If we don’t tell Israel that enough is enough, and we don’t remind the world that it’s not true that hummus is an Israeli traditional dish, they will keep on marketing it as their own.”
However the food wars don’t end with hummus. Yesterday the Lebanese also made the world’s largest batch of tabbouleh, a salad which Lebanon claims the Zionists are trying to take as their own.
RAMZI HAIDAR/AFP/Getty Images
Joshua Keating is associate editor at Foreign Policy and the editor of the Passport blog. He has worked as a researcher, editorial assistant, and deputy Web editor since joining the FP staff in 2007. In addition to being featured in Foreign Policy, his writing has been published by the Washington Post, Newsweek International, Radio Prague, the Center for Defense Information, and Romania's Adevarul newspaper. He has appeared as a commentator on CNN International, C-Span, ABC News, Al Jazeera, NPR, BBC radio, and others. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he studied comparative politics at Oberlin College.| Feature |