May 10, 2006, - 12:04 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
One of the myths that dominates the international cuisine world is that Middle Eastern food is “Arabic food.” It isn’t.
Jews have been making this same “Arabic food” for centuries, even before the creation of Islam. The majority of Jews in Israel are “Sephardic” (“Spanish” or “Oriental”) Jews who come mostly from Arabic countries (as opposed to “Ashkenazic”–or “German” Jews who are of European descent). “Middle Eastern” food is as much theirs as the Arabs’.
In fact, hummus–the dip made from chickpeas, sesame butter (tahini or “techina” in Hebrew), olive oil, lemon, garlic, etc.–originated in what is now Israel.
And today’s Wall Street Journal reports that the company with the biggest share of the hummus market is an Israeli company, Sabra Salads. Sabra is a subsidiary of Israel’s Osem, which is 53% owned by Nestle.
It is an important statement that the company with the biggest market share of a food consumed mostly by anti-Semites residing largely in anti-Israel, anti-American Muslim Arab nations is a company in the country they most hate and wish to wipe off the map.
The dominance by Sabra Salads is also yet another symbol of the backward nature of the oil-rich, idea-barren Arab world, whose 22 nations have a combined GNP that is significantly dwarfed by tiny, terror-besieged Israel (which is smaller in size than the state of New Jersey).
To those who were wondering, “Sabra” is the Hebrew word for a particular type of cactus, native to Israel, which produces sweet fruit. It is also the slang term for a native-born Israeli because they say Israelis are like the fruit of the sabra–tough and prickly on the outside, but sweet on the inside.
Tags: Arabic food, Debbie Schlussel One, food, Israel, Nestle, New, New Jersey, oil-rich, olive oil, Sabra Salads, Wall Street Journal