Did you know that there is a special day for celebrating hummus? Neither did we, until we learnt that this year International Hummus Day falls on Saturday 13th April.

A spread that’s spread

Hummus: the dip that spread from the Middle East
chickpeas – soandso.com

Hummus bi Tahini, as it’s called in Arabic, is a chickpea and tahini based dish. In fact hummus is Arabic for chickpea… and it is said to be one of the earliest “prepared” foods. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that the chickpea is one of the first purpose grown crops, dating back many thousands of years and was even grown in Babylon. Over the centuries it has become a staple of Middle eastern cuisine, from Egypt to Lebanon and from Syria to Hatay.

In the past decade this nutritious dip has started to spread across Turkey. Once unheard of in Fethiye, this Levantine dish has now become a firm favourite in the South-western town. But it has spread much, much farther the the Eastern Mediterranean.

A crisis

According to the Guardian, this delicious mixture of mashed cooked chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic has become a mainstay of British kitchens and tubs, bowls and plates of the dip can be found in 41% of British ‘fridges.

While this all sounds great for the humble chickpea, it is not all good news. Recently in the UK there has been a crisis… In recent weeks, however, there has been a huge problem with production in the UK.

For those in search of the best hummus in Turkey, one destination they could consider is in the provincial capital of the culinary jewel of Turkey’s crown, Hatay.

A pilgrimage to Hatay’s Hummus shrine

Hummus: the dip that spread from the Middle East
Hatay Hummus – Nichola Chapman

There’s one particular shop in Antakya that should be on the bucket list of any hummus lover.

Hummus: the dip that spread from the Middle East
Hummus with butter and pine nuts – Nichola Chapman


Make your own

Hummus: the dip that spread from the Middle East
Hummus: from Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Warm Hummus with Red Pepper Flakes infused Olive oil