“Jews…and even more specifically Jewish men, never tire of arguments about the absolute, the one and only, the most fantastic hummusia. The hummusia fetish is so powerful that even the best of friends may easily turn against each other if they suddenly find themselves in opposite hummus camps.” Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi in “Jerusalem: A Cookbook”
Hummus is serious business at Vino Levantino, which makes sense because it’s Israel’s national dish. According to some sources, Israelis eat more hummus per capita than any other nation in the world. Aficionados wage fierce debates about the best ways to prepare and serve hummus. Should it be thickly textured and substantial, like Jerusalem-style hummus? Or should it be smooth and fluffy, like the hummus of Jaffa? How about the creamy-style hummus popular in Old Acre? Or the spicier, chunkier type served in Galilee?
In consultation with secret hummus experts, Vino Levantino’s version takes inspiration from the heftier Jerusalem-style hummus, while miraculously achieving a creamy texture for easier pita-dipping.
For Hummus Novices, here’s the low-down on Vino Levantino’s version:
Tahini: When it comes to this vital ingredient, Vino Levantino pulls out all the stops. Only the best will do: Israel’s number one, top quality Al Arz tahini.
Chickpeas: Vino Levantino uses dried chickpeas (favored by hummus connoisseurs), and soaks them overnight in baking soda, which softens them and speeds cooking.
Lemon Juice: Added according to a carefully guarded ratio to impart just the right amount of tanginess.
Garlic: Though some misguided souls espouse the virtues of roasted garlic, Vino Levantino uses raw, smashed garlic.
Olive Oil: Because you never need an excuse to use this liquid gold.
Salt and Pepper: Just a light dusting.
Serving: Real hummus spoils quickly. Vino Levantino makes its hummus fresh throughout the day, in small batches that serve about 20. So it always tastes fresh from the kitchen.