Analyzing the Israeli-Lebanese hummus wars, this article argues that both the competition to make the largest plate of hummus in the world and the Lebanese effort to trademark the term “hummus” within the European Union are attempts to legalize and concretize the concept of authenticity, which takes on increasing significance under the pressures of globalization and anxiety over homogenization. In addition it argues that “authenticity” is not determined by static tradition or heritage, but rather by practice. Hummus, therefore, is Israeli so long as it is consumed and understood as such by the Israeli population.
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