Thousands pledged to celebrate International Hummus Day on Wednesday, a four year-old initiative started by an American-Israeli blogger that has begun to gain national attention.
Lang established the day in 2011, after seeing the success of Nutella Day. Lang, along with friend Miriam Young, launched Hummus Day as a way of bringing more support to Israel by uniting over the popular chickpea spread.
One day after launching the 2015 page – replete with a map of the nearest hummus vendor – and a Facebook page, what began as a casual project that he nearly forgot about has taken off, he told Israel 21c.
“It’s growing by 1,000 people every 30 minutes,” he said. “We’ve already reached five million people. I wasn’t expecting this at all.”
Lang noted as well that hummus is gaining visibility in the US.
“The US hasn’t woken up yet, but I think when they do, it will be really crazy,” says Lang. “Many hummus places are selling their dishes for special prices today in honor of the holiday.”
Even Army Radio dedicated time to the concept on Wednesday morning, interviewing the owner of nationally-renowned hummus vendor of the Abu-Ghosh Restaurant on his success.
"In 2010, we made the largest hummus dish," owner Jiwadat Ibrahim reflected. "It was one four-ton hummus dish. We entered the Guinness Book of World Records."
"It was very tasty," he added, "and news coverage spread all over the world."
So what is the origin of a popular dish? According to him, it's impossible to know.
"This is a Middle Eastern dish, it was born in the Middle East," he said. "It's like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first: you never know."
Ibrahim, like Lang, noted that the spread has gained immense popularity in the US.
"Today, in the United States, people did not know what hummus was until recently – now [the] hummus [market] is billions of dollars."