First cultivated approximately 7,000 years ago, the chickpea was brought to the Middle East by Ancient Phoenicians. These days we associate the chickpea with hummus dips and hummus recipes.
Hummus is traditionally made from mashed chickpeas that are blended with tahini and other spices. Market research from 2010 shows that hummus dips have seen U.S. consumption rise over 35 percent in 21 months to sales of almost 300 million dollars. Fifteen years ago, hummus dips only represented a 5 million dollar business.
The success of recipes using hummus have even fueled the Association of Lebanese Industrialists to petition the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade for European Commission protection status as a Lebanese food.
With all of the commercial successes of hummus dips, it is a more frequent addition on dinner tables and at restaurants in the United States. You can find variations of roasted garlic hummus dip and roasted red pepper hummus dip among the traditional versions.
When served as an appetizer, the hummus dip is usually just scooped up with pieces of pita or similar flatbread. For an Americanized version, you can use vegetable slices, tortilla chips or crackers to scoop your hummus dips.