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12:PM? Time for Humus!

Writen by: Ricky Rachman
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01/05/2017
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A tour of the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem feels like a trip to a faraway land. Apart from being the largest quarter of the four, it is the liveliest, most colorful and most intriguing. The alleys, the people, the fragrances, the food and the language create a fascinating journey in Arab culture.

The Muslim Quarter consists of many communities of religions, families and different ethnic identities, and each group brings its culture, tradition and lifestyle to the public sphere.

 

A tour in the Muslim quarter feels like a trip to a faraway land…

 

This time we decided to take a tour at the busiest hour in the quarter – lunchtime.

The menu of the Old City is probably not the longest or the most varied menu you have seen, it’s got humus, humus with misbaha, hummus with ful, hummus with meat, humus with pine nuts … hummus of all kinds, but mostly – humus.

Almost every self-respecting hummus place can tell about a tradition of 20 or 30 years, about the secrets that go through the family making their own hummus more special, about the special atmosphere in the Old City market, and, how not: about the service.

 

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A humus tray loaded with goods

 

The special delivery service of the Old City is one of the things that make Jerusalem pictures look like they were taken in another world. But do not get confused, the special delivery service is not for you, sorry.

If you were a shop owner in the district or if you knew how to deliver your exact location across the market, you could enjoy a well-stocked tray.

Like any successful venture, the delivery service in the quarter was born in response to a troubling problem. Every day during lunchtime, when the stomach begins growling and the smells of the old city’s cooking rise, the shopkeepers find themselves in the shops waiting to serve potential buyers.

Most of the shops in the old city market are small and barely fit for one seller – certainly not to have a kitchen or even a small refrigerator to keep the lunch. So, to save shopkeepers the trouble of closing the store for lunch or worse – the danger of losing buyers, all the hummus shops in the market began offering Take Away service to the stores.

 

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The special delivery service of the Old City is one of the things that make Jerusalem pictures look like they were taken in another world

 

Young people and adults are carrying huge aluminum trays throughout the market, going quickly up and down the narrow alleys, not missing a single shop or stand. The service starts in the early morning with a drink menu featuring strong Turkish coffee, with a special taste of cardamom, tea with mint or natural juices.

Already at 11 am the lunch menu comes into a motion, and it’s the turn of the king of lunch, the hummus.

 

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The service starts in the early morning with a drink menu

 

Coming to a visit in Jerusalem? Find out where your favorite hummus is and how you like it – but not too late, you eat your hummus early or you do not eat at all!

Bon appetit – or as you say in the market, Sachtein!

 

 

 

 

 In 1/6/17 –  we will go on a tour following the Husayni and Nashsashibi clans, as a part of the series “Its many faces: about communities and families in Jerusalem”. Written and photographed by Ricky Rachman

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