The Israeli Cuisine - A total sensational craze

The Israeli cuisine is relatively young. Some say its identity is far from being completely formed. Unlike century-old European and Asian culinary traditions, and perhaps precisely just because it’s still fresh, the Israeli wizards of culinary art do not feel tied-up by strict traditions or imprisoning dogma. When creativity is coupled with adventurousness, the end results are delicacies and specialties that are hard to come by. The Israeli cuisine draws from varied sources, just like its population is a melting pot from all around the world. For this reason, you can find under one roof and in one menu, salads from the Balkans alongside an eastern European soup, fish prepared a-la North Africa and a South American dessert.



The Israeli Cuisine - A total sensational craze

The Israeli cuisine is relatively young. Some say its identity is far from being completely formed. Unlike century-old European and Asian culinary traditions, and perhaps precisely just because it’s still fresh, the Israeli wizards of culinary art do not feel tied-up by strict traditions or imprisoning dogma. When creativity is coupled with adventurousness, the end results are delicacies and specialties that are hard to come by. The Israeli cuisine draws from varied sources, just like its population is a melting pot from all around the world. For this reason, you can find under one roof and in one menu, salads from the Balkans alongside an eastern European soup, fish prepared a-la North Africa and a South American dessert.



Nonetheless, many classical dishes in the Israeli repertoire are clearly identified with Israel. Connoisseurs have made sure they have a hold on their favorite recipe, or have found THE restaurant that serves the version they like best. Hummus is the first dish that comes to mind. It comes with many side-dishes and is variously served. In the same group we shall find Shakshuka (scrambled or poached eggs over a rich tomato sauce), Falafel, Sabich, Spicy fish dishes, etc. Even as the dishes come from a variety of source cuisines, they have been adapted to the local ingredients, and to the tastes and likes of the Israeli palate.

Israel is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce. Accordingly, salads have a place of honor in the menu. Among the most popular are: Aubergine (eggplant) salad, Matbucha, Tabouli, Harisa, etc. The art of spicing is an integral part of the secret, and you can find many spice stores with a dazzling array of selections from all over the globe. Israelis are aficionados of dairy products, and some are very particular about Eshel, Gil (runny, sour yogurt with a mild salty taste) and of course the soft, creamy and sumptuous Labneh cheese. Interestingly, the local goat cheeses are considered top-notch; they are sought over as delicacies all around the world.

Israelis love fish and consume lots of it. Many villages along the sea shore cultivate fish in agri-hydro farms. You can find salt-water fish from the Mediterranean as well sweet-water fish from the Sea of Galilee. The most popular species are the Carp, Tilapia, Mullet, Silver Carp, Gilt-head bream, Trout, etc. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, and in the port-towns of Acre and in Jaffa you can find them fresh and buy them from the hands of the fishermen. Recently, the Israelis have discovered sea-food (which is considered non-Kosher), and the demand for these types of delicacies is on the rise.

Many talented pastry chefs have returned from abroad, bringing with them smells and tastes from traditional Europe. Today, you can find pastries that are as authentic and savory as those baked for the last two centuries in Vienna and in Budapest. Israelis have a very big sweet tooth – they are crazy about all kinds of sweets. No wonder they are sweets are stars of each meal, and each menu. And the place of fresh fruit is not taken by the pastries – fruits are commonplace ingredients in the main dishes as well as in the desserts. Once every few years we even delight to see new types of fruits, courtesy of our local agronomists-entrepreneurs, that are busy perfecting the local fruit varieties which are exported to markets the world over.

All who shall come to Israel are sure to taste many and varied tastes, and have strong and meaningful culinary experiences. One belief held by the Israeli chef is that “the sky is the limit,” and that there is complete freedom to experiment. This mindset is the origin of truly avant-garde culinary delights and tastes.