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Israeli food culture, Page 3

Insights into various aspects of the local food scene.

Salouf-bakery-hatikva

Hatikva Market, the best party in town

The tables were packed, the music was booming, the alcohol was flowing and the crowd was jovial. But this wasn’t a bar, and it wasn’t a night out, either. Nope — it was just another Friday morning at the Salouf Bakery in the Hatikva Market. Perched on barstools, we were …

jachnun-beach

Jachnun in the secret beach paradise

From the street, it looks like little more than a shack, nestled among boutique hotels and beach revelers in one of north Tel Aviv’s most expensive, touristy neighborhoods. Woven reed walls protect it from prying eyes. Most of the time, it’s closed. But on Saturdays the doors open, and those …

guy-cart

Treasure hunting in Jerusalem’s Muslim quarter

The streets surrounding the Damascus gate are one of my favorite places for food shopping in Jerusalem. The markets teem with people, and competition is fierce. Unlike the markets in Tel Aviv, you won’t find any exotic imports or the latest agricultural trends — no French bread or purple potatoes …

pensos-bimuelos

Jenny Penso’s cheesy Passover bimuelos

Bimuelos are a highly personal affair for anyone who makes them. One February afternoon last year, I walked into the Pensos’ borekas shop at the Levinsky Street spice market. “By the way, do you make bimuelos for Passover?” I asked Moshe Penso as he took filo dough out of the …

mateh yehuda17

Food and fresh air in the Judean hills

Sometimes us city folk want a little bit of country. It’s not like the countryside is all that far away, but given how long it takes us to plan a trip out of the city, you’d think this were a trip abroad. Even for a strong incentive such as good …

purple-carrots1

Purple carrots, old and new (and a stuffed carrot recipe)

New varieties of carrots started showing up here over the past several years, with the advent of farmers markets. Purple, red, yellow, white, you now can find them in upscale locations like the Tel Aviv Port. But actually, purple carrots aren’t new to Israel, and they’re certainly not the reserve …

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 …