Israel’s great culinary debate, akin to pizza faceoffs in Chicago or cheesesteak wars in Philly, boils down to one question: Where can you find the country’s best hummus?
On my trip sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, we sampled an entry today at Sa’id, a classic hummus establishment in Acre (Akko), a city on the country’s northern Mediterranean coast that dates back to the Crusaders. To get there, our guide took us through the rambling streets of the souk, where vendors sold everything from spices to children’s clothing to hookah pipes.
Inside, Sa’id appeared nondescript – save for the heaping piles of food on the tables. Our driver ordered bowls of hummus for each of us.
I wasn’t quite prepared for how MUCH hummus we’d receive. Mounds of hummus, liberally dosed with chickpeas and swimming in olive oil, arrived at the table, along with a tall platter of warm pita bread. It tasted so much fresher and creamier than any hummus that I’ve ever had in the U.S. We mopped it up with gusto.
As with most meals in Israeli, the hummus came with plates of accompaniments: delicious green olives, tomatoes, peppers and onions that the Israelis eat raw, with a bit of salt. Small plates of fresh garlic, hot pepper and parsley are put on the table, so you can flavor your hummus to taste.
I’ve now made it a culinary mission to discover if other Israeli cities on the trip can match the hummus at Sa’id. Just as I make gelato a regular part of a day in Rome, hummus will now be part of mine (or maybe I’ll mix it up and go for falafel next time).
Have any hummus places to recommend, either in Israeli or elsewhere? Tell me below!