Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Michal Gamily’s 'Mashawsha to go' from an East Village fire escape
Text and photos by Stacie Joy
During the COVID-19 PAUSE this spring, Michal Gamily got creative and launched an old-school "mashawsha to go" business from her fire escape.
"You will find it a very unique East Village experience," Gamily says. Indeed.
I recently texted her to make an appointment and meet neighbors Roni and Peddy Pery there when they were picking up their mashawsha (hummus in the Israeli and Palestinian style). The homemade vegan treat is sold by weight — a medium-size container (you bring your own) is $10.
She started the side business while temporarily out of work during the COVID-19 pandemic. She is an actor, series director and curator at LaMama.
Gamily makes it fresh every day and sells it from her Avenue C fire escape via basket — a contact-free experience. It’s a traditional Middle-Eastern treat made here with organic chickpeas, garlic, homemade tahini, olive oil, cumin, lemon, parsley, and other spices plus the soaking liquid from the chickpeas. She recommends serving it with pita bread, but says it’s also great with pickles, vegetables, falafel, in a lafa (wrap) or served with hard-boiled egg.
Roni and Peddy, who, like Gamily, originally hail from Israel, tell me that the mashawsha "really respects the bean, that she lets the chickpeas speak and be celebrated." Mashawsha or msabbaha means both to mix and swimming in Arabic, and in this style the whole chickpeas are swimming in the hummus.
Gamily asks for a 24-hour order notice, and you can place your order by text at 646.221.5082 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She reminds me that she only sells mashawsha, nothing else. And classic style, "No fava bean or one made with pine nuts. The real deal only."