When I received the invitation, I only skimmed through the text- because I only read texts that have 140 characters and are exclusively written by me. Visibly impressed, I stopped and read the part again where it said „the best hummus in town“.
„Ballsy“, I thought to myself. But what is Hummus exactly anyway? That gritty paste of garbanzo beans and garlic and tahini. And ufff, it’s in Prenzlauer Berg. Should I go to Prenzlauer Berg for hummus? Especially when you consider that you can find hummus on any street corner in Berlin, at any of the thousands of halal food/arabic/oriental places, even at City Chicken. I can get it at the grocery store with different flavors, too.
I can even make the stuff, if I have a spare three minutes. Although I’m traumatized. I once tried making my own hummus and it ended in a huge fight with my flatmate because I added pepper. She told that me I’m useless and I should leave and think about my blasphemous behavior.
Prenzlauer Berg. Well, that seemed like a ridiculously long way to go for bean paste. But I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t live with the idea that there is a place claiming to have the best hummus without ME and ONLY ME judging it.
So one Saturday I decided to make the journey to „Kanaan“, a new restaurant that serves vegan and vegetarian Middle Eastern cuisine, combining oriental spices with fresh seasonal ingredients to create simple traditional dishes from the Israeli-Palestinian region.
Its a simple nineties inspired bar-restaurant with rather less decor, but very inviting and cozy. The daily changing menu is written on a cupboard. We actually tried most of it.
Oz, the owner, talked us through most of the different dishes and showed us how you are supposed to eat the hummus: that you have to eat it with your hands, that you have to mix all of it and in your open pita bread. My mouth was full with that delicious, unctuous tastiness.
Drizzled olive oil and green and yellow sauce squirts everywhere. Basically I was chewing the whole time while Oz told me his story, the vision he has, how he wants to bring people together through food and create his own Kanaan, a place where everybody lives together in peace, where there is disagreement but nothing that we cannot overcome – the land of milk and honey.
But the best comes for last: the dessert. This beautiful mixture of carrot cake with arabic spices and cheese cake, the holy concoction of everything that tastes above and beyond, it was right there when I had an epiphany: what if eating wouldn’t make me fat?
What if there is a reason Kanaan is in Prenzlauer Berg: so I’d walk all the calories off going home?
By the way: I decided that the best hummus is the one that is available for me to eat. I guess Kanaan Hummus wins and loses at the same time.