The Jew And The Carrot

The Independence Day Barbecue, More Than an American Tradition

By Katherine Martinelli

Elion Paz

In the U.S., the Fourth of July signals the start of grilling season and means beer, barbecue, and fireworks. Although it’s celebrated two months earlier and halfway around the world, Israeli Independence Day, or Yom Ha’atzmaut, which starts tonight at sunset, is commemorated in much the same way but with its own Israeli spin. In Israel, summer begins in May, and barbecue, or mangal, is the national culinary and even cultural obsession.

The word mangal derives from Arabic slang meaning ‘grill,’ and the concept was probably brought to Israel by the Turks during the Ottoman Empire. Israeli food writer and editor Janna Gur notes that grilled meat, kebabs, and fish were popular in Arab restaurants in the 1960s, and soon Israel’s earliest five-star hotels were opening grillrooms to serve the country’s elite.

Since then, the idea of mangal has become democratized, and practically every Israeli irrespective of cultural background, religion, or ethnicity loves a good barbecue. “What Israelis love most is to make their own barbecues… they have become the country’s leading participant sport, taking place in the backyard, on the balcony, on the beach or on a picnic,” writes Gur in her seminal “The Book of New Israeli Food”.

Read more


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Mangal, Janna Gur, Israel Independence Day, Elion Paz, Chicken Wings, Barbeque, Yom Ha'atzmaut




Find us on Facebook!
  • "Selma. Nearly 50 years ago it was violent Selma, impossibly racist Selma, site of Bloody Sunday, when peaceful civil rights marchers made their first attempt to cross the Pettus Street Bridge on the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama." http://jd.fo/r50mf With the 50th anniversary approaching next spring, a new coalition is bringing together blacks, Jews and others for progressive change.
  • Kosovo's centuries-old Jewish community is down to a few dozen. In a nation where the population is 90% Muslim, they are proud their past — and wonder why Israel won't recognize their state. http://jd.fo/h4wK0
  • Israelis are taking up the #IceBucketChallenge — with hummus.
  • In WWI, Jews fought for Britain. So why were they treated as outsiders?
  • According to a new poll, 75% of Israeli Jews oppose intermarriage.
  • Will Lubavitcher Rabbi Moshe Wiener be the next Met Council CEO?
  • Angelina Jolie changed everything — but not just for the better:
  • Prime Suspect? Prime Minister.
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • 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.