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Israeli food culture, Page 3

Insights into various aspects of the local food scene.

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Stuffed bottle squash, Nazareth style

The night before I was scheduled to visit her in Nazareth, my friend Jida called me. “I have bad news,” she said. “Tomorrow is Eid. Everything is going to be closed.” She added, “I know how much you like the market.” Well, I do like Nazareth’s market, but I was …

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Where to buy food in Tel Aviv

We’re in the midst of the largest social protests in decades. At the center of it all is the cost of living — the economy is powering ahead, but people are being left behind. We pay high monopoly taxes, and consumers are starting to realize that. Banks, supermarket chains, communications …

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Watermelon with arak and basil

We have a watermelon problem. You see, we went a little watermelon crazy at the farmer’s market. Watermelon is one of those things I can’t really buy on my own — it’s too heavy. But here I was with my husband at the Tel Aviv port, and here was a …

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Homemade pickles for cucumber season

This is what we call cucumber season. It’s that sultry time of year when everyone is on vacation and the only thing that’s happening is cucumbers are ripening on the vine. This year we’re having an unusually exciting cucumber season, with the largest social protests in decades, but at least …

Jacques and David stir the pots.

What does it take to cook for an army?

I had the pleasure of joining New Orleans chefs John Besh, Alon Shaya, Jacques Leonardi and David Slater on a base in the Golan Heights last week as they prepared dinner for a battalion, as part of a Jewish Agency program between New Orleans and Rosh Ha’ayin. So what happens …

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The wheat season

Two men, crouching against the wall just inside the Damascus Gate. Spread out before them were three piles of spring’s freshest bounty — crisp grape leaves, green chickpeas still in their pods, and what was that last one? I squinted. Wheat. Fresh, green wheat berries. Ariella and I stopped. What …

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Mufletas — the best way to end Passover

The week-long Passover holiday can often end with a fizzle, but Moroccan Jews know how to let it go out with a bang — with music, drums and sequins, and lots of sweets and leavened pastries, of course. That’s Mimuna, the holiday our newspapers love to cover and our politicians …

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Meet Jerusalem zaatar

It’s not so common that I find something new and surprising at the shook, which makes it all the more exciting when it does happen. Poking my nose through one of the herb stands last week, I found a new, unfamiliar leaf. It looked like tarragon. I asked what it …

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Exploring Bnei Brak with Joan Nathan

Late Thursday night, I received an e-mail from cookbook author Joan Nathan, telling me she’d canceled her plans for Friday. Would I like to visit the Tel Aviv farmer’s market and Bnei Brak with her? Geez, what a question! Of course I would. But there was a catch. There’s always …

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Winter weekend weed walks

I attended two weed walks last week. Both had been delayed due to rain. Coincidence? Not at all. We’ve had several years of drought, and the rain came late this year. But once it started, it didn’t stop. When the winter rains begin, the dusty earth quickly comes alive with …