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Arab

red-and-white-tahini2

A tale of two tahini mills

After a few wrong turns that led us up and down the bleached stone staircases of Jerusalem’s Old City, we’d found ourselves standing outside what looked like a small convenience store. There were no other storefronts in the immediate vicinity. The nutty smell of sesame was everywhere. But where was …

sweets

A stroll through Acre (Akko)

It’s vacation month. Daycares are on break, Yeshivas are on break, we’re on break — the end of my husband’s paternity leave, to be precise. I’m already back at work, actually.* But with this scorching summer heat, all we really want to do most days is sit out our vacation …

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 …

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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 …

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 …

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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 …

fresh-wheat2

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 …

pasta-houbezeh-cafe-liz

Pasta sauce with mallow and sheep cheese

It doesn't sound like the most unusual dish -- tomato sauce with greens and cheese, pretty standard, right? Well, it is and it isn't. My greens happened to be mallow and wild beet, and my cheese was a traditional Arab sheep cheese known as "jibneh," which, quite creatively, means "cheese" …

wadi-nisnas-greens-cafe-liz

A culinary spin through Wadi Nisnas

Wadi Nisnas is more than a small Christian Arab neighborhood in the northern coastal city of Haifa -- it's a place full of culinary wonders. When I lived in Haifa seven years ago, I would make regular pilgrimages to Conditory Oriental for knafeh, a pastry of oozy goat cheese topped …