About the food of Israel

Man reading a newspaper in the Dead Sea. Photo by Ranveig.

Listen up, hipsters. While you can find snow in the mountains of Israel, you’re a lot more likely to find a splash of sunshine and a heavy dose of beautiful Mediterranean summer. In short, Israel has the perfect climate for a smile – especially while floating effortlessly along the dead sea, even if your right foot looks like it is about to fall off.

No judgement here, but you might want to get that thing checked out, Mr. Anonymous Newspaper-reading Man.

As good as the weather is, things get a little more sour when it comes to the food. Literally. Cover up your paper cuts, friends, because this beautiful country is renowned for her citrus production. Lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits all zing their way into the most wonderful juices [recipe], salads [recipe], and treats on the Israeli table.

Eilat on the southern tip of Israel

For something a little more tame, try hitting up an Israeli street stand. The most popular street food includes falafel, hummus, and pita. Imagine pulling up your chair to chow down on a pita stuffed with falafel, hummus [recipe], cucumber, tomatoes, and french fries… all together… in a single bite. Israel has it (and they call it the chipsalat). Epic.

Then there’s ptitim – or Israeli cous cous – something commonly served to children in Israel as a wonderful quick-fix meal. No wonder locals are shocked that ptitim has become a gourmet treat in the west.

And finally, there’s breakfast. You could eat a simple meal of labneh (a soft cheese) with bread, 0r experience the delight of shakshouka [recipe]… a hearty tomato and pepper based sauce with gently poached eggs, all sopped up with thick slabs of country bread. Rumor has it, shakshouka will get you through the toughest work day (although, here’s hoping your day is never tougher than a smile).

And that’s just the beginning… What are your favorite foods from the region?

Nahal Tze'elim canyon situated in the Judean Desert, Israel, near Masada, descending to the Dead Sea. Photo by Ester Inbar. | Maps courtesy CIA World Factbook. | Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem.


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