Lebanese chefs celebrate in Beirut after setting a new Guinness record for what was then the biggest tub of hummus in the world — weighing over 2 tons — in October 2009. The world record effort was part of Lebanon's bid to claim hummus as its own. Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Give Chickpeas A Chance: Why Hummus Unites, And Divides, The Mideast

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Zanzibari biryanai, a dish involving spiced poached chicken, fried onions, a rich gravy and rosewater- and saffron-scented rice. Zanzibar was part of Oman until 1965. Courtesy of Ariana Lindquist/Andrews McMeel hide caption

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A Palestinian Bedouin girl milks a sheep in her family's makeshift camp in the West Bank. Herders live close to their animals, their main source of income. Emily Harris/NPR hide caption

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Making Cheese In The Land Of The Bible: Add Myrrh And A Leap Of Faith

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In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

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Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi grab a quick breakfast with NPR's Madhulika Sikka. They stopped by NPR in October to talk food philosophy. Morgan Walker/ NPR hide caption

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