Tag Archives: hummus

Cahiers du Hoummous — Hummus in a time of crisis — MidLaw Semiotics

In crisis, recur to fundamental principles.

Fundamental principles arise from experience. Experience from consciousness. Language shapes consciousness. Language matters.

“Hummus’ is the abbreviation of  “hummus bi tahini.” Hummus is the original word for chickpeas and tahini is for ground sesame seeds.  Hummus begins here. Then salt, and lemon juice to dance. Oil, garlic, cumin, and pepper to dress.

Before the crisis, some were suggesting substituting white beans instead of chickpeas and eliminating tahini. They called that hummus.  Others, mashed beets. It was hummus, except without the chickpeas and without the tahini.

What? George Washington’s hatchet.

Is crisis any wonder?

Recur to fundamental principles. Chickpeas mashed, sesame seeds ground, lemon juiced. Things will come right.

Cahiers du Hoummous — Hummus in a time of crisis — Routines

Control counters crisis

Routines are control.

Centuries — millennia —  have chiseled the steps to hummus. There are routines.

The Cahiers du Hoummous sees the steps, the routines, records them.

Each step in its turn, unto itself. Then the next.

Non-essentials fall away.

Chickpeas, sesame seeds. Lemons.

Choices are made. Routines settle.

  • Dried chickpeas or canned?
  • Roast sesame seeds or tahini?
  • Olive oil in it or on top?
  • One lemon or two?
  • Garlic in the hummus or on top? One clove or two, roasted or not?
  • Add tahini to chickpeas or chickpeas to tahini?
  • Skins?
  • Spices.
  • Hot hummus or cold?
  • And more.

Routines. Handles. The handles strengthen. Hummus and beyond.

The gateway is MidLaw Mind. In a time of crisis.

 

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.

 

Cahiers de Hoummous: Hummus in a time of plague

Hummus has weathered three thousand years. And so it is suited for a time of plague.

Three thousand years wear away what is not essential. They find what is irreducible.

MidLaw will speak of this, in future cantos. MIdLaw will seek bedrock.

DISCLAIMER

Cahiers de Hoummous is not legal advice, it is not medical advice, and it is not political commentary. It is hummus commentary, based on the best information available to MidLaw, and tempered by an attitude that cannot be said to be entirely serious or scientific. MidLaw believes, however, that when prepared and consumed as part of a conscientiously applied program of personal advancement, hummus can be effective in raising spirits and supporting well-being.

Eggs mount comeback at Mayo Clinic — paralleling classic cultural progression

In the beginning, eggs were good. Two every morning.

Then they got bad. Cholesterol.

But they came back. Dietary cholesterol does not determine what’s in your arteries.

Most recently, they went bad yet again.  A study of early deaths among egg eaters.

Still, they return. Over at the Mayo Clinic. Mayo says it’s not the eggs, it’s you.

Eggs are good for some people, bad for others. Depends on what you bring to the table.

We’ve seen this before. In fact, repeatedly.

Religion. First, God was an external, objective actor. Then He became the possession of the priests. Then, of congregations. And, ultimately, is a matter of the experience of individual believers.

Art. First, art was a re-creation of an animal. Then, a representation of objective reality. Then, a stimulus of the viewer’s senses. Then, a stimulus of the viewer’s subjective experience.

Industry. First, a craft. Then, mass production, automation. Then, artificial intelligence.  Ultimately, individual, 3-D printed products.

Law. First, decrees of the strong. Then, decrees of the ordained. Then, Natural Law. Then, legislation and interpretation. Ultimately smart contracts, implemented by blockchain.

Hummus. First, hand-crafted along the Nile. Then, a national food. Then, a global, plastic-packed, shelf product. Ultimately, any pulverized, creamy dip. Finally, retrieved by the roll-your-own ethic of the MidLaw Diet. You don’t buy it; you make it. Your way

Now it’s eggs. But it’s not the eggs. It’s not the cholesterol. It’s you.

If eggs are back, can bacon be far behind?

Humpty Dumpty back on the wall

MidLaw has been all over eggs. Recommends them with hummus.

As early as 2015, MidLaw lifted up CNN’s report: Eggs Are Legal Again; Breakfast Is Back.

Two months ago, MidLaw linked to the Cleveland Clinic’s egg-affirming encomium: Eggs are good for you. “Eggs are fine. They’re actually a very healthy food.”)

I hope you ate them when they were good for you.

The Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting now that some new study concludes that eggs kill. Harvard’s School of Public Health and others are all “on the one hand, on the other hand.”

Humpty Dumpty is back on the wall. Coffee is an endangered species. Orange juice is a sugar bomb. Bacon: nitrates, nitrites.

Before you can get out the door in the morning.

Hummus for breakfast is not a bad idea. The Way.

 

 

Cahiers de Hoummous: who originated articles about who originated hummus?

We are at a tipping point in worldwide hummus culture.

The number of articles and posts asking who invented hummus has burst through the top. We cannot absorb more  – playing Israel against Lebanon, pitting Lebanon and Israel against Syria, Turkey, Egypt, and Greensboro. The number of these articles and the diminishing returns from reading them are approaching Eastern-NC-vs.-Piedmont-NC-barbeque proportions.

Enough! Who cares?

Herewith, MidLaw issues a meta query. Who started this? Who originated the exhausting topic of who originated hummus?

This too is disputed. Many point to a certain ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic, “Hummus bin tahini are us”. But its interpretation is subject to uncertainty. A key phrase might say “mash your chickpeas, then mix in the lemon juice,” or it may say “spank your ox smartly with a fresh lemon branch.” Scholars disagree.

These endless debates are figments of these tribal times. They do not make the hummus better.

Rise above. Roll your own.

Find the mean. The golden one.

 

 

Cahiers de hoummous: chickpea shortage looming, discipline advised

In the past 10 years, domestic demand for chickpeas in the United States has gone from less than 47,000 tons to nearly 200,000 tons a year. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, demand doubled. From 2016 to 2017, US acreage planted in chickpeas increased by an estimated 86%.

In 2017, Americans ate 1.85 pounds of chickpeas apiece, up from 1.21 pounds the year before.

Now, there is word of shortages — droughts in the US and India. Prices rising,

Have we overdone this hummus thing?

Chickpea discipline is needed.  Roll your own. Don’t eat too much. Wait until next season. (Pray for rain?)

Cahiers de Hoummous: Consider the eggplant

Baba Ganoush, or Baba Ganouj

MidLaw has railed in the past against the misappropriation of the term “hummus” for non-chickpea purposes.

“Pumpkin hummus”, ” butterbean hummus.” Bah! Pumpkus and butterbumkus!

Consider the eggplant.

For thousands of years, eggplants have provisioned their own dip.

Eggplant dip is virtually identical to hummus, differing only by the substitution of eggplant for chickpeas in the traditional recipe.

But eggplant has never sought to be known as “eggplant hummus.” It’s had its own name from the start: baba ghanoush (which, by the way, has its own sort-of-interesting etymology and also suffers from competing Arab and Jewish identities). Curiously, while hummus and baba ghanoush come from the same place and same time, nobody wants eggplant’s name. There’s no bababutterbean, no pumpkinoush.

Baba ganoush, by the way — although never known as “eggplant hummus” —  is a mighty good dip.

Your move, butterbean.

Cahiers de Hoummous: Dispatches from the field

From the field comes this report:

Saturday night we went to this Israeli  restaurant in New Orleans called Shaya. They had asparagus hummus, which was hummus topped with a blob of greengarlic, snap peas, sumac, and cabernet vinaigrette. We also had a cauliflower hummus which had a topping of caramelized onions, parsley and cilantro. And they offered a tahini hummus, which we did not sample.

“Hummus topped with”: that’s the ticket. But then, was the underlying purée of chickpeas, or not?

Undeniably though, this dispatch goes beyond nomenclature. Asparagus, cauliflower: right there’s some boon companions for chickpeas.

And, “tahini hummus” makes the nomenclature point. It’s an acceptable rendering of “hummus b’tahini”. It’s chickpeas with tahini. Not tahini instead of chickpeas.