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37 (Hummus 2 | フムス 2)

August 10, 2010

Yuval’s comment on my previous post on hummus lead to a discussion here in Yuval/Kaori land and inspired me to do a follow-up post. (I also thought it couldn’t hurt to upload another mouth watering food photo.)

Hummus is one of those dishes that is at once both common and rare. Common because it can be found anywhere – at the supermarket, at restaurants, in practically every household. The recipes available for hummus are limitless. But it’s also one of those dishes that even if you follow a recipe to the very last detail, very often it doesn’t come out right. And it doesn’t even seem so complicated to make.

I’m not surprised to hear of hummus chefs like Yuval mentioned that are given an apartment in addition to a generous salary. Their recipe is priceless really, and of course they will never write it down. They can go anywhere with that recipe if they wanted to.

This made me think about dishes similar to hummus in other parts of the world. It probably exists in every culture, every country. A dish you go to eat both in restaurants and at your mom or grandma’s, and may also be available in supermarkets, but the best kind? You just can’t seem to duplicate. What is it exactly that they do? Is it timing? Is it the room temperature? Or a specific time of the year? Specific time of the day? Or is it simply love or how much devotion you put in to the cooking?

At the ulpan, cooking is proving to be the universal language. The women have been bringing in homemade cakes and snacks and swapping recipes. Today a Ukranian woman brought in a mango cake and when asked for the recipe she wrote it down completely from memory, down to specific portions, oven temperatures, minutes.

I’m starting to feel the pressure to bring in something homemade myself but we don’t have an oven and I’m not much of a cook… but luckily I have friends I can turn to who are wonderful cooks. I’m just hoping they won’t give me a recipe that’s impossible to reenact.







Much love,

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