News / Middle East

Lebanon Hummus Platter Wins Guinness World Record

Lebanon has unveiled the Guinness World Record's largest platter of hummus, taking a victory from Israel. The two countries have been competing for the past few years for the record distinction. Hummus is a staple food of many Middle Eastern countries' cuisines, but both Lebanese and Israelis lay claim to its origin.

Onlookers cheered as the giant ticker screen displaying the hummus' weight passed 4,090 kilograms, a record previously set by Israel in what has become known as "the hummus wars." The ticker stopped at 10,452 kilograms.

While Israel and Lebanon have been officially at war for six decades, this culinary battle begin just a few years ago, when a Lebanese businessman sought to have the European Union register hummus, along with other Middle Eastern foods like falafel and tabouleh, as national dishes.

An event organizer, Chantal Tohme, says it is meant to be a fun occasion, but the participants also want to set the record straight.

"It is more than about the Guinness World Record. It is about proving that hummus is Lebanese," said Tohme. "Because it is being promoted as a non-Lebanese dish, and as an Israeli traditional dish, and it is not. And if we go back to history we see that it came from Lebanon."

Earlier this year, Israelis, who are also passionate about the smooth chick-pea spread, produced the 4,090-kilogram portion of hummus made by 50 chefs and put in a six-meter satellite dish.

Lebanon fought back, as 300 chefs in white coats of the al-Kataaf cooking school mashed up 10-tons of a special recipe for the occasion.

Cooking school Head Chef Ramzi Choueiry explained the ingredients as he poured hummus into a large ceramic dish.

"You have in it olive oil, salt garlic, sesame cream, and specially the chick peas, boiled and crushed," he said.

Sous-chef Alain Abou says it is not just about quantity, it is important for the hummus to taste good as well, even better, of course, than the Israelis' creation.

"All the recipes, we prepare it before, we make it, we check it, so it is very good recipes," said Abou. "We will beat it not in the army, but in the hummus."

"It is a lesson in large-scale catering for students, and if successful, a real reason for Lebanon to be proud," said Guinness World Record judge Jack Brockbank, who flew from England for the event.

And after more than three months of preparation, five hours of mixing, crushing, pouring, or sometimes spilling, he dubbed Lebanon the new record holder, a title that comes not with money, but with much prestige.

However, the Lebanese are not stopping, Chef Ramzi says they now plan to prepare the largest-ever plate of falafel.

You May Like

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs