Lebanon breaks Israel's humous world record

Feat more than doubles January Abu Ghosh record.

May 9, 2010 12:53
3 minute read.
world-record hummus cook-off in Lebanon

lebanon hummus 311. (photo credit: AP)


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Lebanon launched a decisive retaliation on Saturday, in the campaign that Army Radio described as the Third Lebanon War. No Katyushas or Scuds crossed the northern border, but Lebanon served Israel a 10-ton blow in the competition for regional supremacy.

Lebanon struck down Israel’s world record for the largest plate of humous on Saturday, in the village of Fanar, east of Beirut.

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About 300 Lebanese cooks prepared a batch of humous that weighed 10,452 kilograms, The Associated Press reported.

A Guinness World Records adjudicator confirmed that Lebanon reclaimed the record.

Lebanon accuses Israel of stealing traditional Arab dishes such as humous, and marketing them worldwide as Israeli.

Saturday’s plate more than doubled the record set on January 8 by Jawdat Ibrahim, of Abu Ghosh. However, the competition’s not over.

“No matter what happens I’m going to double it. I’m going to show who humous belongs to,” Ibrahim told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

Ibrahim’s humous is made in the Abu Ghosh Restaurant that he opened in late 1992, single-handedly starting a dining trend that put his town on the national tourism map. He uses all Israeli chickpeas, grown on kibbutzim.

The Lebanese, Ibrahim said, use imported chickpeas from Turkey.

The Israeli humous plates are sponsored entirely by Ibrahim, a private individual. Lebanon’s are sponsored by Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud.

Ibrahim admitted he was shocked the Lebanese doubled his January 8 Guinness Record so quickly. He is certain that the 2010 record will still belong to him, because he will prepare his next record-setting batch this summer.

The next humous platter will be a part of the world’s biggest humous celebration. Ibrahim said his party will go on for 48 hours, 24 times as long as Lebanon’s two-hour celebration this weekend.

“This time Israel’s going to have something it never had before. Something very, very special. We’re going to join a lot of people from all over the world, because a lot of people love humous,” he said.

Don’t bother to mark your calendars yet for Ibrahim’s party, because he’s keeping the exact date a secret. The Lebanese surprised him with this weekend’s batch, so he intends to return the favor.

Ibrahim said this competition will end if the Lebanese accept his invitation to make the next humous plate together.

“This is more than humous and maybe something will change, if we don’t talk about the conflict and we talk about people. We are very similar. We both love the good life. But most of all we love humous.”

Ibrahim would be happy to host the Lebanese in Abu Ghosh, travel to Lebanon or make the shared plate of humous on the border. Ibrahim, who won $17.5 million in the Illinois State Lottery in 1989, when he was a day laborer in Chicago, said he has a different perspective on coexistence.

He has invested much of his winnings into his hometown of Abu Ghosh, just west of Jerusalem. Abu Ghosh is the place that can show the whole world that Jews and Arabs can live normal lives together, Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim hosts workshops for Israeli and Palestinian kids. The families have never met or worked with people from the other side before, he said. But it doesn’t take long for the kids to play and have fun together.

“Just leave us together and we can handle it together and live a normal life.  They look at each other person to person and we can do it. Here we can make a wonderful life,” Ibrahim said.

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