When Stereotypes Prove True

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Omri Casspi slights baba ghanouj:

The first Israeli in the N.B.A., Omri Casspi, is busily trying to adapt to life in the United States.
For starters, he needs a cellphone with a local number. He just received a $4,500 bill for about two weeks of calls, which is expensive even by N.B.A. standards. He needs new chargers for all his gadgets. But he is struggling most to find comfort food.

"Hummus," Casspi said, with a hard h and a long u, stressing the first syllable in a way that conveyed utter seriousness. "You don't have that here, though."

A reporter insisted that the chickpea spread is widely available in grocery stores in the United States, but Casspi -- who was drafted last month by the Sacramento Kings -- smiled dismissively.

"Man, I tried it; that's all I can say," he said last week during a break in the Kings' summer league schedule. "I will bring some from Israel, maybe. I'll let you taste it and you tell me."

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2009/07/when-stereotypes-prove-true/21641/