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Israeli food culture, Page 2

Insights into various aspects of the local food scene.

couscous-with-vegetables

Vegetables with couscous, the slow way

There’s a little restaurant in the Yemenite quarter with a wide-ranging menu with flagship dishes from at least four ethnicities — including jachnun, kubbeh, couscous and hummus — and it excels at all. How could this be? Generally, when I walk into a restaurant that offers both, say, pad thai …

beer-expo-galil

What makes a beer Israeli?

Is there such a thing as Israeli beer, and if so, what makes a beer Israeli? I’m not the first person to ask that question, but it comes up again on the occasion of Israel’s second-ever beer expo, Beers 2012. The local industry is young but growing, with a profusion …

Sfenj, Moroccan donuts

Sfenj, Moroccan donuts

Sfenj are marvelous in the way that only freshly baked yeast pastries know how. This modest dessert had top American chefs waxing poetic over the wonders of traditional foods, and understandably so. Back story: Four well-known American chefs were at an army base in the Golan, whipping up dinner for …

yemenite-saluf

Saluf, traditional Yemenite flatbread

Walking through the Yemenite quarter one Friday morning, I passed an open window advertising fresh lahoh. What more of an invitation do I need? But there was no one there. Peering inside, I couldn’t even see any bread — none of the telltale bags of stacked lahoh or saluf, full …

cholent-in-slow-cooker

Vegan slow-cooker cholent with legumes, freekeh and spices

Cholent season has officially begun. By that I mean it’s raining, it’s pouring, we’ve had nearly half a winter’s worth of rain in about two weeks. This is what an average day has looked like in Tel Aviv, that is, during the hours when it’s not pouring and the streets …

sommelier1

Six Israeli white wines I like (and one red)

There are few experiences more fun than a wine expo. Good wine, cheese and a crowd that gets progressively friendlier as the day (and night) wears on. As a bonus, Israeli wines tend to be particularly alcoholic — the climate makes for sugary grapes, which in turn leads to alcohol …

Jerusalem-kugel

Jerusalem kugel

It took me years to realize that my husband liked Jerusalem kugel. Once I did, I turned it into his birthday cake. This might be because I only recently discovered the dish myself. Wandering through Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market sometime last year, I encountered — let’s be honest — unappealing …

rolled-sambusak

Delicate sambusak with zaatar and cheese

This is a different kind of sambusak. One I’d never seen before. Sambusak is one of those ubiquitous snack foods around here, somewhere next to burekas. While these deep-fried or baked pockets of dough have a strong association here with Iraqi Jews, many of whom consider them an integral part …

pomegranate-breaking

How to break open a pomegranate

While the fall holidays may be over, fortunately the pomegranates aren’t. You can still find them in abundance, and prices are dropping to incredible lows — four shekels a kilo. We have a whole heap of discount pomegranates in the kitchen. And they’re lovely. I was hoping to come up …

pomegranate-lace

Happy Rosh Hashanah, and vegetarian meal ideas

It’s that time of year: The entire nation is packing into grocery stores and markets, as if no food will be left come the Jewish new year. Actually, that’s pretty much how we prepare for any Jewish holiday. By now, most of you probably know what you’re eating for the …