For culinary travelers, Akko is a Hummus Heaven
Every year, hundreds of thousands of tourists, both local and international, flock to Akko to eat Hummus. Akko is famous for its Hummus: its quality, its variety and the sheer number of restaurants that sell it. But what makes it most special, is that Hummus in Akko is a family affair. Each Hummusia (Hummus restaurant) carries its own tradition dating back decades, with family recipes passing from generation to generation. A Hummusia is often named after its founder, and today it may run by a daughter or grandchild. In fact, quite a few Hammusias in Akko are run by women who continue their parent’s legacy.
It’s essential to understand that in Israel, Hummus can be a starter, a side dish, but often is the Main Dish. Locals will devour a full bowl of Hummus with or without pita bread, fava beans (ful), mushrooms, pine nuts, hardboiled egg, ground meat, falafel, tomatoes, pickles, onions or other additions. A fresh and savory bowl of Hummus makes for a delicious and low-cost meal that will satiate both Vegetarians and Meet Eaters for hours.
While the ingredients are simple – mashed chickpeas blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and other seasonings – each family recipe will cook the chickpeas slightly differently, or mash them differently, into Hummus that can be light and fluffy or thick and chunky, more savory, sweet or with a kick of sour. To ensure the quality of their Hummus, some restaurants will hand-mash their chickpeas or even use their own homemade olive oil. Hummus is always best eaten fresh which is why a Hummusia will open in the morning and often close when their daily batch is finished, sometime in the afternoon.
Ready to ‘wipe’ some Hummus?
Walk into any of the joints below, they’re all in Akko, and they’re all fabulous. In some you’ll find other local dishes like falafel, eggplant salad, labane, stuffed grape leaves and more – but there’s no meal without Hummus!