Cahiers du Hoummous — Bedrock in times of crisis

In times of crisis, it is well to stand on bedrock. Recur to fundamental principles.

The verdict of the centuries is that hummus is chickpeas (mashed), sesame seeds (ground), garlic (peeled), and lemon (juiced).

Followers of MidLaw will learn hereafter that olive oil, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper play important supporting roles.

But the essence of hummus is chickpeas, tahini (ground sesame seeds), garlic, and lemon. That is bedrock.

A trend of recent times is to introduce other elements into the mix. Worse, there are those who substitute and eliminate essentials. This is done in the name of creativity. They call the result “hummus.” Partly, this is an offense to the language. Often, it is an offense to the culture. It serves ill in a crisis.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with throwing anything you like into a food processor, then grinding and eating it. (Well, let’s limit this to vegetables for discussion’s sake.) But, there are issues of language, etymology, and culture here – which will be considered in later cahiers. Get your own word, though, for what you do, because without chickpeas and tahini, it is not hummus. The earth will shift beneath your feet.

And there is the issue of beets – grinding up beets, eating them, and associating that with hummus. Does this require discussion?

In a crisis, trust the learning of the centuries.

 

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