Lebanon Claims Biggest Hummus World Record
al-FANAR, LEBANON -- Hummus is now the newest source of tension between Israel and its neighbor to the north, Lebanon.

That is hummus and not Hamas... one being a Palestinian socio-political group with a para-military wing, the other a regional delicacy made with chickpeas, sesame seeds and olive oil.

Lebanon set a record for the largest plate of hummus Saturday in the continuing gastronomic war with Israel over the popular regional side-dish.

The war has played out publicly for years with two sides outdoing each other for the title of world's best or world's largest hummus dish.

On Saturday, about 300 Lebanese chefs in the village of al-Fanar -- about 5 miles east of Beirut -- lay claim to the Biggest Hummus title with a dish that weighed 11.5 tons. That's 23,042 pounds.

The achievement more than doubled the previous record -- set in January in the Arab-Israeli village of Abu Gosh.

The January dish weighed in at more than 4 tons -- the same as four average family cars.

Lebanese journalists said a Guinness Book of World Record representative certified the results Saturday.

The Lebanese chefs used 8 tons of boiled chickpeas, 2 tons of tahini, 2 tons of lemon juice and 154 lbs of olive oil for their dish.

Planning the huge dish took three months. Mixing, crushing, pouring and tasting the paste took another five hours.

While Israel and Lebanon have been officially at war for six decades, this culinary battle begin just a few years ago.

That's when a Lebanese businessman sought to have the European Union register hummus, along with other Middle Eastern foods like falafel and tabouleh, as Lebanese national dishes.

Israel fought the move, saying the dishes were decidedly Middle Eastern and could not be claimed by any one country.

As for Saturday's World Record Hummus now held by Lebanon, Israeli chefs say they are planning a counter attack.

But when all is said and done, it can be said it will be a far better world when wars are fought not with bullets and bombs but with tabouleh and chickpeas.