While tensions between Lebanon and Israel continue to rise, prompting fears of war between the neighbors, Lebanon can relax and enjoy some mezze tonight knowing that its culinary reputation is safe from an Israeli offensive. In the ongoing food feud between the troubled neighbors, this war seemed without end. In January Israel reclaimed the momentum after doubling the Lebanese record for largest bowl of hummus – a chickpea dish that both sides passionately claim as their own.
[tweetmeme] Understanding the significance of the defeat, Lebanon has rallied back and has perhaps delivered the final blow in this deliciously volatile war. After re-doubling the record with a 10-ton bowl of hummus, Lebanese chefs pushed further and claimed the falafel record as well. A day after shattering the Israeli hummus record, the Lebanese did the unthinkable – crafting 11380 pounds of falafel. There are rumors that Israel is ready to withdraw after the latest gastronomical disaster. Importantly, Lebanese chefs also hold the world record for largest dish of tabbouleh – another dish of whose national origin is currently being debated in the UN Security Council.
The Lebanese government has asked those Lebanese who are under the poverty line (estimated at almost 30% of the population) to dispose of the extra hummus and falafel by dumping the unneeded food into the ocean. Palestinian refugees living in the squalid camps around Lebanon (numbered at around 400,000, or 10% of the population) were disqualified from the government work because the lack of citizenship.
Photo from Ya Libnan