home
RSS
One Appalachian's guide to hummus
Rick Morris was surprised to find such a selection of hummus at his local grocery store.
February 16th, 2012
01:49 PM ET

One Appalachian's guide to hummus

Editor's Note: Rick Morris is a web developer and volunteer firefighter from Canton, North Carolina.  He is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program.  Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September, alongside Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  The seven athletes met up two weeks ago in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the program, where Rick developed a new taste for hummus.

Hummus. The very word, for those like me, not in the know, sounded like a foreign term for something gross. Globular pustules on a teenager's face. A backwoods verb for singing under one's breath (“hummus a song, Cooter”). Perhaps a brand of automobile.

Until recently, I can honestly say that I had never heard of hummus. In fact, I was somewhat taken aback when it was placed in front of me at a recent restaurant gathering. It evolved something like this...

“Want some hummus, Rick?” they asked.

“What's hummus?" I inquired.

Atlanta's crowded Flying Biscuit restaurant went near silent for a moment that day, my friends. A myriad of eyes in disbelief angled my direction. I'm pretty sure the winds outside got angry and old-man winter was preparing a cold blast of disdain to lash at me the moment I walked out the door.

I was quickly rescued by those sharing the same table. “It's similar to a bean dip,” one said. “You're going to like it,” boasted another. “Give it a try.”

It clearly didn't appear to have tomato in it (I can't stand tomatoes), and hey, I was pretty hungry so I grabbed a triangle of pita bread, spread a generous amount of hummus on it, and sent it down the hatch.

What happened next was comparable to a high-speed ride on the autobahn in an Italian sports car! My first kiss! Winning the lottery! Skydiving! Releasing the rope swing and plunging into the clear, cold water of the mighty Pigeon River on a hot summer's day...

Well, maybe not as exciting as all that. But, clearly I had found a new food that was truly like a party in my mouth. It was delicious. Better yet, I've since learned it is very healthy. Amazing! Something that tastes great and is good for you.

For someone whose Sunday dinners generally consisted of fried chicken, corn-field beans, smashed taters (if you must ask, you need to visit my area) and sweet iced tea, I had written-off ever discovering new foods satisfying both requirements.

As a member of this year's CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, I was already in the market for good nutrition. So I decided to delve deeper into this hummus thing. I wanted to know exactly where it comes from, what it consists of, and how I could make my own.

My research into the wonderful world of hummus began online. Not to be confused with “humus," an organic matter or compost, I discovered hummus is a Middle Eastern bean dip made from a few basic ingredients: cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans, olive oil, tahini (ground sesame seeds), lemon juice, salt, and garlic.

For someone who prides himself in whipping up the best tzatziki around – a recipe given by a Greek friend while in Europe – I'm now fully confident I can create hummus. Just gotta see if my local grocery store has chickpeas.

The origin of hummus comes from “himmas” or chickpeas, leading to the Arabic “hummus," then the Turkish word “humus," and finally settling in the West back in the Arabic style of “hummus."

As I said earlier, hummus is spelled the way we Americans see it so as not to be confused with the aforementioned English term for dead dirt. Did you get all that?

Now that I know what it is made of, I checked out the nutritional information on hummus. Rich in vitamin C and iron, hummus also provides high amounts of vitamin B6 and folate. There is plenty of protein and dietary fiber courtesy of the chickpeas. The tahini (again, ground sesame seeds) contains a healthy amino acid. And, depending on the oil used, you get a nice portion of monounsaturated fats, which improve cholesterol levels – both LDL and HDL.

So... how to eat hummus? Apparently, it can be pasted to just about anything – bread, crackers or celery, for example. My initial dish came with feta cheese sprinkled on top. Mmmmmm! I like hummus so much that I think I'll just spoon it until I have more time to ponder the varying recipes and uses.

In the West, hummus is typically served cold as an appetizer or dip, and transported to drooling taste buds via a piece of pita or flat bread. In the Mediterranean, you'll almost always see hummus served with a small assortment of dishes precluding the regular meal. That's called a “meze."

Fish, eggplant, chicken, and just about any lunch or dinner menu is complimented with hummus. Palestinians and Israelis typically serve it warm, with bread before, during or after any meal. Exotic spices such as cumin, paprika, parsley, excellent olive oil, and mint leaves often garnish hummus in Palestine.

I asked a number of my “kin folk” and local residents here in the Canton area and discovered few had even heard of hummus. A couple of them were well versed, but most had no idea what it is. Evidently, we rural, small-town people are the last to know when it comes to international cuisine.

Thankfully, this eases my feelings of embarrassment from my initial encounter with hummus. However, it bothers me that so many of us are missing out! Unlike Middle Eastern countries that battle each other for the world's largest hummus dish, Americans are just beginning to discover its succulent taste and various uses. Lebanon, by the way, holds the current record, at 23,000 pounds - set one day in 2010!

I've learned that Americans only recently began consuming hummus, with about 15 million eating it regularly by 2008. If my math serves me correctly, that means about 300 million of us were not partial to this simple, delicious dish.Probably because we had never tried it.

But, the popularity of hummus has skyrocketed over the past four years and it's safe to assume that about ten percent of Americans now partake in its consumption weekly. Maybe I'll start a chain of hummus-oriented restaurants, introducing this wonder food to all of America. At the very least, a town hall focus group.

From what I've discovered, hummus is a miracle food. I can't find anything negative about it. It tastes great, can be fabricated quickly and inexpensively, and contains plenty of nutrient rich ingredients.

My endeavor to uncover the mysteries of hummus has me feeling like I just completed a ninth-grade research paper. But that's perfectly fine with me. I've learned enough to confidently rescue the next lay person who asks, “What's that?” In fact, I'll take any moment of culinary humiliation in exchange for the opportunity to discover a delicious new food.

In contrast, plenty of visitors to my neck of the woods have frowned at the site of squirrel dumplings. But for those who try them, they are usually hooked. Well, some are just being social. I mean, it is prudent to show appreciation when a moon-shining, outhouse-using, up-the-holler-living Appalachian tosses their finest culture at you, right?

Back to that restaurant in Atlanta... as my glorious moment of hummus introduction came to its climax, our waiter was busy inquiring about our libation for the meal.

“I'll have a Pepsi,” I requested. Strike two!

“Don't you know this is the Coca-Cola capital of the world?” she asked, as the ground settled to a minor rumble. “The Coke Museum is just a few blocks away!” another proclaimed.

“Coke please,” I declared. “And, another platter of that hummus stuff!”

P.S. – If you have a good hummus recipe, comment about it below.


soundoff (810 Responses)
  1. Camper Repair Shop Near Me

    This is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Thank you for sharing this one. A must read article!

    http://www.ginngroup.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 01:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. burlington coat factory near me

    https://community.esri.com/external-link.jspa?url=https://www.reviewnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. businesses near me

    Right here is the right webpage for anyone who wishes to understand this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need toÖHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for ages. Great stuff, just excellent!

    https://usachannel.info/amankowww/url.php?url=https://quotenearme.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 03:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. tow truck near me

    Hi, I do believe this is a great web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I'm going to come back yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    http://redplumcoupons.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.nearmyspot.com

    June 21, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. top article

    Hi, Neat post. There's an issue along with your website in web explorer, would check this?
    IE still is the market chief and a huge portion of folks will omit your wonderful writing because of this problem.

    June 21, 2021 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Shops Near My Location

    Wonderful article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site. Keep up the good writing.

    http://casinolayouts.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 03:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. cafe near me

    http://biomedresearchgroup.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 05:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Camper Repair Near Me

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely enjoyed every bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new things you postÖ

    http://www.arena0.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 21, 2021 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. metropcs near me

    http://halawa.info/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bjsnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Repair Near My Location

    http://www.ahtuba34.ru/bitrix/rk.php?id=15&event1=banner&event2=click&event3=1+/+5%5D+banner%5D+Ð”ÐІÐÂĩ+ÐŅ—ÐŅ•ÐÂŧÐĄŅ“ÐĄÐƒÐĄâ€žÐÂĩÐĄÐ‚ÐĄâ€đ&goto=https://ocrvmotorsports.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Laree Gutermuth

    Have you ever heard of second life (sl for short). It is basically a online game where you can do anything you want. SL is literally my second life (pun intended lol). If you would like to see more you can see these second life articles and blogs

    http://lostbiro.com/blog/?page_i&paged=53

    June 21, 2021 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Coachmen Van Repair Shop Near Me

    http://dynamictiming.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=boxtruckrepairshop.com

    June 21, 2021 at 17:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. RV Repair Shops Near Me

    http://www.nosbush.com/cgi-bin/jump/frame.cgi?url=orangecountyrvrepair.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 17:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mercedes High Top Van Repair Shop

    Good web site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find good quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    http://www.annweb.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepairnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share opinions. Great blog, continue the good work!

    http://www.radasm.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.world

    June 21, 2021 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. kayaking near me

    Hi! I simply want to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you've got here on this post. I'll be returning to your blog for more soon.

    http://bdsm.gs/bin/out.cgi?id=zaq12wsx&url=https://earme.a2hosted.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sprinter Van Mechanic

    http://olympicbetting.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com

    June 22, 2021 at 03:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. online dating group

    http://www.horseridesandmore.org/facebook.php?URL=http://mastermindofmen.com

    June 22, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Handicap Van Repair Near Me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.

    http://localhoneyfinder.org/facebook.php?URL=https://www.sprintervanrepair.com

    June 22, 2021 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. South Haven Michigan Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me

    I really like reading an article that will make people think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

    http://fantasticfans4less.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 08:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Mercedes Sprinter Repair Near Me W Ratings

    The very next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not fail me as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, however I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you weren't too busy looking for attention.

    http://fundatec.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=fleetvehiclerepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Repair Conversion Van Blinds

    http://dnadxsa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com

    June 22, 2021 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Dodge Sprinter Repair Service

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I am hoping to view the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now 😉

    http://pricepergallon.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=commercialrepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 16:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. SEO Marketing Consultants

    http://havelsincorporated.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 22, 2021 at 18:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Content Marketing Specialist

    https://www.fastpage.name/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a very good articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://www.myphonetechs.com/index.php?thememode=mobile&redirect=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Internet Marketing Businesses

    http://eaeng.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. RV Repair Store Near Me

    http://misstoothfairy.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.com

    June 23, 2021 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Parts And Repair Near Me

    I blog often and I truly appreciate your information. This article has truly peaked my interest. I'm going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new details about once per week. I subscribed to your Feed as well.

    http://buyacademy.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Local Marketing Consultants

    Excellent web site you have here.. Itís difficult to find high-quality writing like yours nowadays. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://tumimusic.com/link.php?url=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 04:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Social Media Marketing Specialist Near Me

    This page truly has all the information and facts I needed about this subject and didnít know who to ask.

    http://surfbet.net/phpads/adclick.php?bannerid=34&zoneid=14&source=&dest=https://consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Internet Marketing Business

    https://www.westsideink.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 08:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Social Media Marketing Consultants

    You made some good points there. I checked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this site.

    http://hyperstrike.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. rachel maddow show podcast

    http://iconautomation.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    I truly love your website.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as Iím trying to create my own site and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is called. Cheers!

    http://armdrag.com/mb/get.php?url=http://ocrvexperts.com

    June 23, 2021 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Specialists

    http://www.themosaiccompany.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=getmoneyonlyfans.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. ross near me

    http://casinodailynews.h2ogirl.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bjsnearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 20:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.blackassheaven.com/cgi-bin/atx/out.cgi?id=16&tag=top1&trade=https://ocrv.pro/

    June 23, 2021 at 20:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Digital Marketing Businesses

    https://pse5-esd5.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/pubcbw/publication/display_file.aspx?link=https://postfallsvideographer.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. SEO Marketing Business

    http://bbelectronics.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=lifebusinessfitness.com

    June 24, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Agency

    Next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this one. After all, I know it was my choice to read, however I actually believed you would have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could fix if you weren't too busy seeking attention.

    http://ww31.ompf.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=orangecountysocialmediamarketingexperts.com

    June 24, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Digital Marketing Specialist

    http://horgster.net/Horgster.Net/Guestbook/go.php?url=https://internetmarketingmontana.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Shop Near Me

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the exact same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    http://centralcupon.cuponius.com.ar/redirect/redirv6.php?idR=1274866&url=https://ocrv.store

    June 24, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Mechanics

    http://www.kartcafe.it/adv/www/delivery/ck.php?ct=1&oaparams=2__bannerid=11__zoneid=6__cb=3576663b60__oadest=https://orangecountysocialmediamarketingexperts.com

    June 24, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Digital Marketing Service

    I'm more than happy to find this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you book-marked to see new information in your web site.

    http://touchupsoft.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ppcpostfalls.com

    June 24, 2021 at 07:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. laundry near me

    http://www.seccup.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Fountain Valley

    Good blog you have here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    https://ccedip.com/about/redirect.asp?url=www.ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 13:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. trailer supply orange county

    Aw, this was an exceptionally good post. Taking the time and actual effort to produce a superb articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://www.turismovenezia.it/index.php?id=0&lang=de&referer=ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 15:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Nearest RV Repair

    http://www.dogfriendly.com/servlet/refer?from=pageFL&dest=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 17:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Fridge Repair Near Me

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this amazing site needs far more attention. Iíll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the advice!

    https://tracking.codello.de/tc.php?sdtr=1&t=119093C1286900210T&deepurl=http://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 17:23 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.