Homous is an Arabic word which directly translates to ‘chickpea’. Homous is a Levantine Arab spread that is made from chickpeas that have been cooked and mashed, then blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Chickpeas are a vegetable that have been cultivated throughout the Middle East and India for thousands of years and more recently throughout the world.
Many regions around the world claim to be the place where homous originated. The fact is, that because homous has been around for so long, and in so many different variations, the exact origin has been lost in antiquity. One thing is for certain, that it is one of the oldest known prepared foods.
Despite the fact that the exact origin of homous is unclear, we do know that the chickpeas, the main ingredient in homous, are known to be cultivated in the ancient Mediterranean and the Middle East. Chickpeas have been around for human consumption for several thousands of years. The chickpea was consumed in ancient Palestine, and was one of the earliest crops in Mesopotamia, as well as a common food on the streets of ancient Rome. It is also known that the ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Socrates made reference to the nutritional value of homous in their writings. In recent decades ancient recipes for homous have been discovered.
Homous is a useful food in vegan, vegetarian and non-vegetarian diets. When homous is eaten with bread it serves as a complete protein, similar to other combinations of grains and legumes. Homous is high in iron and vitаmin C, and has beneficial amounts of both vitamin B6 and folate. It is also a good source of protein, fiber and potassium. Due to the fact that chickpeas and sesame seeds have so many healthy qualities, there is no surprise that it has been a part of the human diet for thousands of years, it is no wonder homous has become known as a nutritionist’s delight.