The Jew And The Carrot

Chocolate Shwarma — Is This Necessary?

By Danielle Ziri

New food crazes pop up every few months in Israel: chocolate-filled syringes, the cupcake, the kurtosh (a Hungarian cylinder shaped cake which comes in many flavors), and even the cronut made its debut in Tel Aviv this year. So it was only a matter of time until someone created a gimmicky dessert with Israeli sugar addicts in mind. Introducing: the Chocolate Shwarma.

The concept is simple: replace the rotating meat pole with a chocolate one. The chocolate is simply shaved off the pole the way shawarma meat is and put inside a crepe which stands in for pita.

Like any good shwarma sandwich in Israel, toppings are abundant at ChocoKebab in Jerusalem. Here you can choose from halva, marshmallows, chocolate chips and nuts. If you’re looking for a creamy base, you can add a schmear of maple syrup, whipped cream or even dulce de leche to the crepe.

There is definitely something appealing about creating a sweet version of a savory dish. Many have done it before, like Max Brenner’s Chocolate Pizza. But to be honest, the ChocoKebab is nothing more than a crepe, and crepes are not new around here. They have been sold in stands in almost every mall in Israel for years. So the only new thing about the chocolate shawarma the preparation and the packaging.

Facebook

Although it “screams Israel”, the Choco-Kebab was not actually invented in the country: it was brought to the holy land by Oded Cohen, a newbie to the food industry who came across a similar concept during a trip to Sicily.

The first branch opened in Jerusalem a few months ago. Today, there are choco-shawarma stands in Hod HaSharon, Modi’in, and Ness Ziona. More branches are expected to open across the country, including in Tel Aviv.

But Israel’s love for ever-changing trends means they usually don’t last very long — the average life expectancy of a Tel Aviv bar is approximately one year. After that, they usually close, make a few upgrades in decoration and re-open under a new name. Only time will tell the fate of the Choco-shawarma, but be assured: chocolate and crepe connoisseurs will not be fooled.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: shwarma, chocolate, israel, chocokebab

Susie Fishbein Takes Israel — Well, Its Upscale Parts

By Miriam Kresh

If you have a lot of money and time to spend in the holy land, you would be lucky to find yourself on one of kosher cookbook author Susie Fishbein’s tours. She recently led a group of 34 from the Negev to Sfat to Tel Aviv — with stops at the artisanal Lachma Baker, a chocolate workshop, the Carmel winery and a Yemenite garden meal in a grove with 120 exotic trees — all while offering cooking demos on a moving bus.

I caught up with her group early in the tour, at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv. The ladies (only four men tagged along) were learning how to stuff ravioli at the hotel’s restaurant, Blue Sky. The hotel sous-chefs had prepared the pasta and rolled it out in advance, so that all the participants needed to do was cut out pasta circles, squeeze a prepared filling of ricotta and spinach over them, then top them with other pasta circles. The ravioli found their way to the lunch table. It reminded me a bit of the challah my daughters used to bring home from school, where the teacher had prepared the dough and the girls only braided and egg-washed the little loaves.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: susie fishbein, israeli food, israel

Telling the Story of Israel's Trees

By Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Following his successful Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel leading Israeli environmental lawyer and activist Alon Tal has produced another must read for anyone interested in learning more about the land of Israel; in this case the trees that call that land home. His latest book, All the Trees of the Forest: Israel’s Woodlands from the Bible to the Present reads like a combination of a Sherlock Holmes novel filled with characters working to solve the case of what is best for the land of Israel when it comes to trees, and a tractate of the Talmud where divergent issues are explored that all add to a deeper understanding of the issue at hand.

While the focus of the book is Israel, with only “1/60,000 of the wooded area of the planet,” the information and lessons presented are, as Tal points out, both universal in nature and scope. As Tal writes, “In 1948, the planted stands and remnants of natural woodlands occupied less than 2 percent of the area of the State. By 2005 that figure had increased t some 8.5 percent, and should easily cross the 10 percent mark before stabilizing in a couple of decades. A land that was synonymous with erosion, desertification, and human neglect, is enjoying an environmental makeover.” He then continues, “This exercise in ecological rehabilitation occurred in a country where 97 percent of the ground is classified as ‘drylands,’ making it particular relevant for half of the planet where water will be scarce.”

Not that this has been an easy journey.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: history, Trees, Israel, Alon Tal

Our Favorite New Israeli Wines

By Liz Steinberg

Liz Steinberg

Wine may have been produced in the land of Israel since biblical times, but Israel’s wine industry is relatively new and it’s growing handsomely. Last week’s Sommelier Wine Expo in Tel Aviv offered an excellent opportunity to drink (and drink to) the wines of country’s budding boutique wineries.

We tasted, sipped, swirled wine in our glasses and narrowed it down to our three favorite wineries and one award-winning boutique liquor. We can’t wait to putt these bottles on our table. You’re unlikely to find these products being sold in too many places outside Israel — in fact, you’re unlikely to find them outside specialty wine stores even within Israel — but keep your eyes open, the search is half the fun.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: kosher wines, israeli wines, israel

The First Israeli Whisky Distillery

By Simon Fried

Picture a bar in Tel Aviv, it’s early 2012 and a group of friends are joking about starting a whisky distillery – in Israel. It may sound funny, but this is no joke, and since those first meetings, I have been part of a team working tirelessly to make it a reality. Our efforts to open the first Israeli distillery – Milk & Honey - are moving along, but we have reached a critical stage and we are looking to Israel supporters, whisky lovers, and anyone who loves a crazy idea to become part of the story.

This may sound like an incredible challenge, to make a product that competes with the traditional masters in Scotland or with America’s famous bourbons. But we see an opportunity to put Israel on the whisky map, and this is what has helped push us forward. When we set out to make the first Israeli whisky, we knew we were undertaking a challenge that no one had succeeded in before. We needed to find the right recipe to get the job done. Much like making a good whisky we had to be methodical and precise. So here is our recipe for building the first Israeli distillery from scratch:

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Whisky, Milk and Honey, Israel

Behind the Scenes of 'The Search for Israeli Cuisine'

By Liz Steinberg

Courtesy of Florentine Films
Chef Michael Solomonov and filmmaker Roger Sherman shopping at a spice store in Levinsky market.Chef Michael Solomonov and filmmaker Roger Sherman shopping at a spice store in Levinsky market.

It was an overcast Monday afternoon in Tel Aviv’s beleaguered Hatikva neighborhood, and Chef Michael Solomonov was gamely accepting dish after dish at Bosi, a small-family owned restaurant, surrounded by cameras and sound men. Facing skewers of meat, a mounting stack of fresh flatbreads and a dozen salads including beet, several eggplant dishes, coleslaws and hummus, he rattled off descriptions for the camera. Using the salads to illustrate the Israeli melting pot, he attempted to name the origin of each one — one is probably Yemenite, another looks Palestinian — and turned around to feed a bite of kebab to his cameraman, documentary filmmaker Roger Sherman, who was towering over him.

Solomonov is partnered with Sherman, a two-time Academy Award nominee, to film an upcoming PBS documentary on Israeli food, “The Search for Israeli Cuisine.” They have traveled the country up and down, from Metullah to Mitzpeh Ramon, in search of what Solomonov termed “grassroots” food experiences. Along the way, they visited vintners, farmers, cheesemakers. Solomonov also stopped in the homes of talented cooks and attended a poyke dinner after dark in the desert. The list of sites was pulled together by Solomonov, Sherman. producer Karen Shakerdge, who is half Israeli, and Avichai Tsabari, a local tour guide and sommelier. All in all, the trip was the result of one and a half years’ worth of planning and fundraising to date, to be packaged into four half-hour episodes scheduled to air next year.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: michael solomonov, israeli cuisine, israel, Israel

Behind the Scenes of 'The Search for Israeli Cuisine'

By Liz Steinberg

Courtesy of Florentine Films
Chef Michael Solomonov and filmmaker Roger Sherman shopping at a spice store in Levinsky market.Chef Michael Solomonov and filmmaker Roger Sherman shopping at a spice store in Levinsky market.

It was an overcast Monday afternoon in Tel Aviv’s beleaguered Hatikva neighborhood, and Chef Michael Solomonov was gamely accepting dish after dish at Bosi, a small-family owned restaurant, surrounded by cameras and sound men. Facing skewers of meat, a mounting stack of fresh flatbreads and a dozen salads including beet, several eggplant dishes, coleslaws and hummus, he rattled off descriptions for the camera. Using the salads to illustrate the Israeli melting pot, he attempted to name the origin of each one — one is probably Yemenite, another looks Palestinian — and turned around to feed a bite of kebab to his cameraman, documentary filmmaker Roger Sherman, who was towering over him.

Solomonov is partnered with Sherman, a two-time Academy Award nominee, to film an upcoming PBS documentary on Israeli food, “The Search for Israeli Cuisine.” They have traveled the country up and down, from Metullah to Mitzpeh Ramon, in search of what Solomonov termed “grassroots” food experiences. Along the way, they visited vintners, farmers, cheesemakers. Solomonov also stopped in the homes of talented cooks and attended a poyke dinner after dark in the desert. The list of sites was pulled together by Solomonov, Sherman. producer Karen Shakerdge, who is half Israeli, and Avichai Tsabari, a local tour guide and sommelier. All in all, the trip was the result of one and a half years’ worth of planning and fundraising to date, to be packaged into four half-hour episodes scheduled to air next year.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: michael solomonov, israeli cuisine, israel, Israel

1893 Polish 'Passion Banquet' Is Recreated

By Vered Guttman (Haaretz)

Haaretz
Café Europa in Tel Aviv will reconstruct an elite Jewish-Polish meal from 1893 in Warsaw.

Dror Segev, the secretary of the Tel Aviv University Institute for the History of Polish Jewry has, in recent years, spent many an hour going through Jewish daily newspapers of the 19th century. Segev is searching for materials dealing with his Ph.D thesis, but often runs into features that simply make a 21st century person smile. One of these was published in the Warsaw Hebrew newspaper Ha’Tzfira on August 3rd, 1893.

Under the headline “Passion banquet,” the story describes a festive dinner held in the summer residence in one Warsaw suburb, attended by “many of the city’s sages and learned.” The reason for the party: the arrival of “a distinguished guest presently honoring our city, Rabbi Dr. Abraham Eliyahu Harkavi.” The Hebrew paper continues its report: “On a wide bar near the summer house the table was set. Many lanterns hung on the trees illuminated the garden, and many lit candles were set on the table… The table was loaded with various delicacies and superb wine… the food was served according to Shulchan Aruch,” the code for Jewish law.

Another Hebrew paper, Hamalitz, also happily reported the banquet. “The writers and sages of Warsaw tasted heaven on earth last night. They drank from the cup of paradise and enjoyed holy delights which cannot be described in words.” After the speeches and conversations which lasted until “nightfall,” the guests were ready for dinner. “They then approached the set table and sat each on his seat, finding a list of the foods offered, printed on a beautiful, adorned sheet of paper.”

According to the custom in these days, the paper detailed the full menu. Women, incidentally, were not invited. The guests ate “stuffed fish, various seeds, grape soup, roasted chicken, fried fruits, excellent wines and various fruits,” and were offered coffee.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel, polish meal

Fiji-Style Fish Ceviche: Recipe

By Ofir Yudilevich

Fiji-Style Kokoda Pickled Fish

Serves 4

The most famous Fijian dish is called Kokoda (pronounced ko-kon-da), which has at its core a ceviche or pickled fish. In Israel and in many Jewish homes around the world, pickled herring is on every grandmother’s table. Fiji takes this basic dish and put a twist on it like only Fiji can, adding coconut and chili to it which takes it to a new level and adds the summer feel to it.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound firm-flesh white fish, such as Spanish mackerel
¾ cut white wine vinegar
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup coconut cream
2 small red chilli peppers (add more to taste if you want the dish spicy)
1 bunch fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
1 small red onion
Optional garnish: chili, coriander, sugarcane sticks

DIRECTIONS

Dice the fish and marinate overnight in white wine vinegar to cure it.

In the morning, wash the fish under cold water.

Then marinate for a second time for two-three hours in lemon juice, to take on a citrus flavor.

Then combine with coconut cream, chillis, diced red onion and coriander, salt and pepper to taste.

Best served cold, this dish can be made in advance and is perfect for a picnic.

The picked fish is preserved, which makes it safe to leave unrefrigerated.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: kokoda, jewish, israel, fiji, chef

Michael Solomonov's Culinary Tribute to Slain Brother

By Liz Steinberg

liz steinberg
Michael Solomonov puts the final touches on dinner commemorating the 10th anniversary of his brother’s death.

For Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov, this weekend’s dinner in an Israeli park had been in the making for 10 years – ever since his younger brother David was killed on duty in the Israel Defense Forces.

Michael Solomonov, the owner of Zahav, an award-winning Israeli style restaurant in Philadelphia, was just launching his culinary career when David Solomonov was killed by a sniper just days before he was scheduled to complete his military service. His brother’s death is one of the main factors that pushed him to focus on Israeli food, he says.

A picture of his brother hangs in the room of Michael Solomonov’s 2-year-old son, also named David. The father and son say “good-bye to Uncle David” every time they leave the room, the chef says.

“That ‘good-bye, Uncle David’ thing we say every morning, that’s what we’re doing here tonight,” he told the crowd of 120 at the dinner in the Tel Aviv suburb of Kfar Sava.

Solomonov. 35, was born in Israel to a Bulgarian-Israeli father and an American-Israeli mother, and grew up moving between Israel and the United States. He and his brother had lived on different continents in the years prior to David’s death, but they reconnected a month beforehand.

That’s when Solomonov visited Israel for the first time in four years, “and got to sort of rekindle a very meaningful relationship.” He and his brother spent several weeks together, which happened to include a lot of eating.

Then, on Yom Kippur 2003, shortly before David was due to be discharged, he was killed while patrolling on the Lebanese border, near Metulla. A few months later, Solomonov, then sous-chef at Vetri, hosted a dinner for David’s army unit in partnership with his employer, chef Marc Vetri.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: philadelphia, michael solomonov, kosher, israel, david solomonov

Is Benjamin Netanyahu Going Vegan?

By Barak Ravid (Haaretz)

getty images

Could Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu be on the way to becoming vegan, or will we at least see him attend Gary Yourofsky’s next lecture in Israel? This question was on the minds of several ministers after hearing Netanyahu’s long monologue on his positions regarding animal rights at the weekly cabinet session on Sunday.

Part of the cabinet meeting was devoted to a survey of Agricultural Minister Yair Shamir’s work in the field. At the meeting, Environment Minister Amir Peretz asked to have the authorities to enforce animal rights laws to his ministry.

Two officials that participated in the cabinet meeting relayed the surprising development that Netanyahu instructed Harel Locker, the director-general of his office and the Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit to look into Peretz’s suggestion.

For more go to Haaretz

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: vegan, israel, benjamin netanyahu, animal rights

Making Single Malt Whisky in the Holy Land

By Dan Friedman

courtesy of milk and honey distillery
Still Searching: Simon Fried on his travels, looking for the perfect pot still.

October has come, and the warmth of the summer has fled those parts of these United States that only carry it seasonally. While Florida and California continue to sip their sparkling white wines, other regions are looking forward to that most enticing of prophylactic belly-glows: whisky.

While San Francisco mulls its recent Simchat Torah WhiskyFest and the New York area looks forward to the mid October Whisky Jewbilees, some Israelis are taking the long view.

For those few chilly areas of the Holy Land, or perhaps in case the Middle East suffers a spot of global cooling, Simon Fried and his partners at the Milk and Honey Distillery are making whisky.

The Forward’s Dan Friedman emailed with Fried about the challenges of single malt whisky production in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s backyard.

Dan Friedman: There are three things you need to make whisky: water, barley and time. Israel doesn’t obviously have any of those, so why do you want to set up a distillery in Israel?

Simon Fried: We want to set up a whisky distillery in Israel for several reasons. On a personal level, as individuals, the distillery’s founders are all whisky buffs. Some have craft and home-brewing experience from Israel. I have worked as a business consultant to Macallan. We want to and believe we can make a good whisky. Secondly, there is a growing movement of world whiskies. As we see it each whisky serves as an ambassador for its country of origin. We wanted to create such an ambassador. We want to make a kosher whisky that Jewish people and friends of Israel can be proud of.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: whiskyfest, whisky jewbilee, single malt, milk and honey, Whisky, Simon Fried, Israel

Israel's Four O'Clock Meal

By Haaretz/Hedai Offaim

haaretz

In the afternoon you become somewhat hungry and restless, and can’t find anything to revive yourself. Lunch has been consumed and forgotten, and you haven’t started preparing supper, so you open the refrigerator or the pantry, but find only vegetables and canned food that don’t meet your growing need to bite into something tasty and meaningful.

It’s important not to skip the meal that on kibbutz was called aruhat arba ‏(literally, “the four o’clock meal”‏), which the British call afternoon tea and which features tea or coffee and a cucumber sandwich or cake. There’s something about those afternoon meals that sometimes makes them more important than all the others.

All at once the hustle and bustle of the day ceases, the problems of the workday are forgotten and set aside. The ceremony of the light meal symbolizes the start of a relaxed afternoon with the family or an evening stroll in the park, or even a short twilight snooze in the armchair on the balcony. The remainder of the day gets a second chance if the first part was stressful or tiring.

For those along the Mediterranean coastline there is no food more suitable than a terrine to mark the onset of the free afternoon hours. This baked dish, which took its name from the traditional pan in which it is baked in France, is no more than a perfectly compressed gel of meat or fish or vegetables in a batter, which is sliced like a cake and served on thin pieces of toast with hot peppers or sweet jam. On the one hand, the flavors are as deep and full as in a whole meal. On the other hand, an entire meal is condensed into that one slice, which expresses attention to detail but leaves room for supper.

Read more and get a recipe at Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: recipe, kibbutz, israel food, israel

Urban Agriculture and Ethiopian Jews

By Doni Kaye

Doni Kaye

It’s a simmering late afternoon on a midsummer’s day in the Gimmel neighborhood of Beer Sheba, the capital of Israel’s Negev desert. The sun beats down from the West over the high rooftops of myriad apartment buildings. As the sun continues to sink, the edifices cast lengthy shadows across a green expanse. These shadows offer shelter from the scorching desert sun, and people from the nearest building begin to trickle into this verdant gated space. This idyllic environment starkly contrasts with the surrounding city - a picturesque agro-pastoral scene in the midst of an urban jungle. Within the vine engulfed fence, various forms of vegetation surround a quaint mud hut (called a gojo in Amharic). People take to shovels, hoes, and wheelbarrows, and begin working the land. Vegetables and fruit are harvested, weeds are uprooted, and seeds are planted. As the gardeners labor in this urban Garden of Eden, a breeze whistles through the alleyways, bringing with it the overwhelming aroma of fresh bread, meat and an array of spices. The allure of dinner encourages the gardeners to finish their work, and bring the fresh harvest back home.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: urban garden, Yahel, Israel, Ethiopia, Earth's Promise

The 5 Best Sausages in Tel Aviv

By Haaretz/Rotem Maimon

haaretz

How did all this happen? Apparently, because of the currently upgraded street food trend and promotional work by chefs, the image of the sausage (or frankfurter) has changed dramatically. No longer a product made from low-grade meat leftovers, the sausage has become a culinary challenge worthy of any chef. Today’s sausages have become juicy, carefully prepared main courses and are made of fresh beef (in most cases, the non-kosher variety) seasoned with special spices and various additions that are usually associated with gourmet restaurants rather than street food. Therefore, it is no easy task to choose the five best sausages in Tel Aviv.

A culinary secret weapon: Thai House’s Isaan-style pork sausage

Thai House has already become a Tel Aviv institution and is proud to offer its customers challenging, accessible and outstanding Thai cuisine. Although you might not find too many sausage recipes in Asian cuisine, it does have quite a few sausage options prepared on the grill. And you can trust that Thais from the northeastern province of Isaan can cook sausages that are both “hot” and absolutely delicious.

Read more on Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tel Aviv, Sausage, Israel

The Best New Place To Eat in Northern Israel

By Haaretz/ Rotem Maimon

Uri Jeremias, owns the fantastic Uri Buri fish restaurant in Akko.

Until recently, if you told someone you were going to visit Acre (known by most Israelis as Akko), you would probably have been asked, “What happened, did you lose something there?” or would have received a recommendation to try the delicious hummus at the Hummus Said restaurant.

The northern coast city was the capital of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, the Crusader regime that was established with the European conquest of Jerusalem in July 1099, and which extended over a large part of Palestine and Lebanon. Throughout history, it has always been a magnet, having been captured, abandoned and resettled many times since its founding. However, after Israel became independent in 1948, Acre languished for years as a development town that just happened to have an old city of moderate interest, and to host an annual alternative theater festival that would attract outsiders to the city for a brief period. As Haifa flourished to the south, Acre continued to be considered a pale, northern version of Jaffa.

However, anyone who visits the city today can sense that something exciting is happening here. In 2001, Acre was recognized Acre as Israel’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. But since that time and, until a year ago, nothing much seemed to be going on in town. Although it could be argued that with elections coming up in October, someone in City Hall realized that Acre’s combination of antiquities, seaside location, and spice and food market could have great potential, and decided to make some improvements. Regardless, the emergence of new eateries is a clear indication that the city is raising its game. Over the past 12 months, a myriad of restaurants and places of entertainment have opened, and against the backdrop of a new culinary awareness in the Western Galilee and thanks to easy access to fresh raw materials, Acre is in line to become the north’s new culinary capital.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: israeli food, israel, hummus said, hummus, akko, acre

Eating Your Way Through Israel — On a Budget

By Tal Trachtman

Whether you’re craving creamy hummus, cheesy burritos, Indian dahl, grilled calamari, Druze pastries or fresh fish, eating well in the Holy Land doesn’t have to cost you much. We’ve compiled a list of where to get the best bite for your buck. From Israel’s northern border to its most southern tip, learn where to find delicious, hearty, local, homemade, and budget-friendly options, all for under 60 shekels (less than $17). It turns out foodies can be frugal, too.

Sabich HaNegba street 16, corner of HaRoeh street, Ramat Gan

The dispute over who made the first Sabich – fried eggplant, hard-boiled egg, tehini, hummus and salad stuffed in a pita and drizzled with amba (the Iraqi version of mango chutney) – in Israel is well known to Ramat Gan-ners and Sabich-lovers alike. The employees here and anyone else who grew up in Ramat Gan, claim the word Sabich originates from the name of the deceased Iraqi owner of this spot, Sabich Chalabi, who first made and sold the glorified sandwich in 1961, now considered a national gem. His ID card is proudly laminated on the wall of the place to prove his claim to the patent. True or not, this is the place for sabich.

If you’ve never heard of the dish, you’re certainly in for a life-changing vegetarian treat for the whopping price of 18 NIS. Half portions are also available. This may be a messy feast so devote yourself to the experience, don’t wear elegant clothing and you might even enjoy it when the first drop of tehini stains your shirt. Warm, simple and filling — you’ll never go back to falafel or shwarma. A small tip: if you don’t plan on smelling like you’ve just bathed in yellow curry, skip the amba — although I swear it’s worth it.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Israel, Hummus, Cheap Eats Israel, Abu Hassan, Budget Eats, Sabich

Israeli Cuisine on the American Screen — With Michael Solomonov

By Haaretz/ Judy Maltz

Haaretz/Kelley King
Israeli-American chef Michael Solomonov’s take on Hummus at his Zahav restaurant in Philadelphia.

Even for a veteran filmmaker whose widely praised documentaries have explored subjects as diverse as the O.J. Simpson trial, the classic American Chevrolet, the Kennedy assassination and the life of Broadway musical giant Richard Rodgers, this could be considered a rather unlikely topic.

And that might explain why Roger Sherman tends to bubble over with excitement when you get him talking about his latest project: a four-part special on Israeli cuisine scheduled to be broadcast across the United States on Public Broadcasting Service affiliated channels in 2014.

Make no mistakes about, cautions Sherman − it’s not what you think. “This is not going to be a cooking show and it’s not going to be a food show,” he says, as he sits down for a break during a recent jam-packed pre-production trip to Israel. “What I’m doing is looking at this country through the lens of food. It’s going to be part travelogue, part biblical history and part food tour.”

In the series, which will be divided into four 30-minute segments, Sherman will follow Israeli-American celebrity chef Michael Solomonov, crisscrossing Israel with him, as they search out ethnic, immigrant and regional specialties. During their journey, says Sherman, they will sample dishes at Tel Aviv’s most exclusive eateries, nibble at street food in backwater holes, and enter the kitchens of Israelis from all walks of life to discover what’s simmering in their pots.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Tel Aviv, Michael Solomonov, Israel

Israelis Get a Taste of Africa

By Haaretz/Dafna Arad

Haaretz
A new project in Tel Aviv brings together African migrants and hungry Israelis to talk and learn from one another.

As Israel engages in a tumultuous debate over what to do about African migrants, other conversations, more personal and friendly, are taking place between Israelis and asylum seekers. As part of a social art project called Sihot Mitbah (Kitchen Talks), which takes place every weekend in Tel Aviv, African migrants give cooking workshops to groups of curious Israelis.

The people behind the project are Yael Ravid and Goor Somer, both in their early 30s. For more than a year Ravid, an artistic photographer, has volunteered at the Soup4Lewinsky project, which brings hot, nutritious meals every day to homeless asylum seekers living in Levinski Park. Kitchen Talks is her graduation project for her studies in curating at the Contemporary Cultural Center in Tel Aviv in cooperation with Kibbutzim College. Somer’s first encounter with migrants and meals was held on the last World Refugee Day, in connection with the first Sudanese restaurant in Israel.

The two have recruited workshop instructors from across the African continent: Claudine of the Ivory Coast, who caters out of her home for events and for the embassy; a Nigerian woman, who runs a restaurant near the Tel Aviv Central Bus Station; Hassan, a well-known cook in the Darfur community, and Yemane, from Eritrea.

“We tell them it’s a project for bringing people together,” says Ravid of the participants, who heard of the initiative by word of mouth, spread from a library in South Tel Aviv, kindergartens, restaurants and human-rights groups. The price for the vegetarian workshop in NIS 130, says Ravid, and the cooks are paid for their work.

Read more at Haaretz.com.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: israel, cooking, africa

The Best Dishes in Israel Under $13

By Haaretz/Rotem Maimon

wikicommons
Unexpected Cheap Eats: In Israel, it’s not just falafel that comes cheaply. Ethiopian injera and malaysian food are two other delicious and inexpensive options.

That’s it, we’re out of cash. Call it a crisis or a temporary slowdown, most of us have less money in our wallets, but still feel the need to indulge once in a while. Our challenge this week was to find restaurants offering worthwhile dishes that would also give us change from 50 shekels. The conditions: No deals, no fast food, no cafes, and no business meals - only fun places that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The Malaysian dish at Giraffe (NIS 49)

Value for money is a substantial part of the Giraffe chain’s DNA. Whether it is Tel Aviv, Haifa, Rishon Letzion, Herzliya or Eilat, one can be sure that the dishes are always large and fairly priced. The hot Philippine dish, the chicken in lemon and the pad thai were all fair candidates, but we chose the Malaysian dish. For one thing, you simply cannot stuff anything more into your mouth after you finished. The dish can be altered for vegetarians and those who prefer not to mix milk and meat.

Tip: The dish costs NIS 10 less when ordered as take-away.

Double Injra Beintu at Tanat, (NIS 42)

Vegans, arise! Tanat is the best vegan restaurant you’ve never heard of. Tanat offers an introduction to Ethiopian cooking, with a series of appetizing, cheap and healthy dishes. Injra Beintu includes injra bread with three dishes: lentils, siah (Ethiopian humus) and beet leaves, with a salad. Those already familiar with Ethiopian cooking could try the mushroom injra.

Tip: a single Injra dish costs NIS 35; adding one of the cheap shakes – such as avocado – costs only NIS 15 more.

Tanat, Chlenov 27, Tel Aviv

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: cheap food israel, best dishes in israel, israel




Find us on Facebook!
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.