Latest War in the Middle East Over Hummus


A group of Lebanese businessmen have accused Israel of stealing their traditional dish, hummus. Although the exact origins of the creamy garbanzo bean spread are unknown, the Lebanese Industrialists Association, lead by Fadi Abboud, plan to sue Israel for ownership. Abboud hopes to make hummus a dish with protected geographical status.

Similar to how feta cheese must be made with Greek sheep and goat's milk or how champagne must be made with grapes native to the Champagne region of France, Abboud believes hummus and other local delicacies (baba ghannouj, tabbouleh) deserve geographical protection. His case may be futile, though; the Protected Geographical Status Law applies only to countries in the European Union. There is no such law in Lebanon and Israel.

I think the whole thing is a bit comical: who has time to fight over the ownership of hummus? Still, I'm curious to see if hummus is declared a product specific to Lebanon. What do you think about the claim?

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