International Chummus Day came and went last Friday, May 13, and we forgot to tell you about it.
Truth be told, we’re only slowly getting used to the newest holiday on the calendar, invented in 2012 by American-Israeli entrepreneur Ben Lang.
Lang declared that the point of the holiday is to “bring people together from around the world, in particular the Middle East,” but as Haaretz noted, International Chummus Day is not without controversy, much like chummus itself. Last year, a Twitter account named Lebanese Problems wished its 26,000 followers a happy International Chummus Day, but added, “P.S. Hummus is not Israeli.”
Regardless of who invented chummus, however, it’s certainly a staple of the Israeli palette. A survey conducted by Israel’s Geocartography Institute commissioned by a restaurant called Hummus Abu Ghosh and a credit company found that 68 percent of Israelis have chummus in their refrigerator, 93 percent of Israelis eat it weekly, and more than half of them like wiping it from the bowl in a circular motion.
Some 60 percent of respondents bring their chummus home from a grocery store, 15 percent shop at chummus restaurants and 13 percent make it themselves. Older people are more likely to make their own: 22 percent of those 55 and up are chummus do-it-yourselfers.
One in 20 Israelis eat it six days a week — which means they have a very good chance of having observed International Chummus Day properly, even without our having reminded them.
One more thing: Lang has declared June 12 to be International Falafel Day. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.