Hummus: A Hot Food Trend and Healthy Too!

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Hummus has virtually taken over the “refrigerated flavored spreads” category, which enjoyed sales of more than $300 million in 2009, according to data from Symphony IRI Group, a Chicago-based market research firm.

This traditional Middle Eastern spread is typically made from pureed chickpeas, lemon juice or vinegar, garlic, tahini (sesame seed butter) and olive oil, freely available in any grocery store and in restaurants across many countries.

It's a case of "something old is new again." Chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans, are one of the world's oldest cultivated foods, dating back to the Neolithic period in what is now Sicily, according to The Food Encyclopedia. During the Roman Empire, chickpeas were shipped in jars from Sicily to the rest of Italy. But the Middle Eastern region is thought to have created hummus hundreds of years ago by combining pureed chickpeas with lemon juice or vinegar, tahini (sesame seed butter), garlic, and olive oil. 

This is what you can get as a Hummus fan: