Food is dear to my heart. Not only do I eat it, I also teach in a course called “Food Across Cultures” in the Macquarie Anthropology Department. So I was delighted to receive this morsel (bad pun, I know) from Raffe: a Time Magazine blog reporting that some Lebanese man wants to sue Israel for stealing its cuisine: hummus, falafel, and tabbouleh. So the reporter goes to eat hummus at a shop in Jerusalem and asks the owner if hummus is Lebanese or Palestinian. “Who cares?” replied Zahdeh with a shrug. “Everybody makes good hummus around here –-except the Egyptians.” As someone who just came back from a stint of fieldwork in Egypt, I can say amen to that!
(For those of you who are interested in the politics and anthropology of food in the Middle East, I urge you to check out Sami Zubaida and Richard Tapper’s excellent edited volume, “A Taste of Thyme: Culinary Cultures of the Middle East.”)