What is a traditional Israeli dinner
Eating in Israel: 7 tips for Israeli cuisine in Israel
Israeli cuisine tastes so delicious
Anyone traveling to Israel shouldn't waste a thought on the figure! You just have to discover this country from a culinary point of view, but Israeli cuisine is not particularly easy. But incredibly delicious. On my trip to Israel in autumn I ate my way through various menu cards that are typically Israeli and also got one or two tips from locals.
First, it must perhaps be mentioned that the cuisine of Israel does not have a long history. The many different immigrants have all made their contribution by bringing their local dishes with them and thus a wild mixture has emerged, which is predominantly vegetarian - with a touch of the Orient.
Hummus - chickpea porridge on point
Since Israel there has been a new definition of full for me. The scale no longer ranges from 1-10, but from 1-hummus. Hummus is really everywhere and on every corner, we could even find this delicacy at gas stations in nowhere. Real hummus is freshly prepared every day and, in contrast to Europe, where I got to know it more as a dip alternative, it is a main meal.
In the supermarket, the hummus shelf is about the same size as our cheese counter. Warm chickpea porridge with various side dishes is simply served anywhere with pita bread and will keep you full until the next morning; Depending on the side dish, this is also something for vegans. Hummus is traditionally served with tahini, olive oil and fresh parsley. Bring other variants Ful (a bean puree), mushrooms, eggplant, boiled egg or minced meat on the table.
Looking for a little snack, we ended up in a small hummus shop in on the first day Tel Aviv, a recommendation from our host. Mshawshe is an inconspicuous shop in the heart of Tel Aviv and the menu really only says one thing, hummus.
I am always happy to receive tips from locals that you cannot find in every travel guide. A new experience for me was that sour cucumbers and raw onions were served with the hummus. It is also great for dipping ... you should definitely try it.
Falafel - and again chickpeas, this time fried
I already know falafel as street food from home, but in Israel I definitely ate the best falafel of my life. Falafel snacks are mostly run by Jews, which is why they are closed on Saturday, Shabbat. I have the best falafel in Tel Aviv near Hakosem eaten.
A warm pita bread pocket filled with falafel (chickpea mash formed into balls and then fried), vegetables and lots of tahini are served here until late at night. There is always a line in front of the bar, but that doesn't matter, because
- is it worth waiting
- small falafels are distributed to the waiting guests and
- you can start talking to people in front of and behind you in the queue.
At Hakosem you can also try another delicacy in addition to falafel: Sabich. Here the pita is filled with fried aubergine, potatoes and vegetables, and if you like, you can also get an egg and Tahini in addition ... super delicious.
Whoever falafel in Jerusalem want to eat, I can do that Moshiko snack recommend in the new city. Looks like a normal fast food chain, but still beats every falafel that you know from Germany. But be careful, hot is really hot here.
Shakshuka - Always goes, already for breakfast
One morning in Tel Aviv I was woken up by the smell of steamed onions, garlic and tomatoes. What awaited me for breakfast was just a poem ... a fresh shakshuka. Israelis have a hearty and hearty breakfast and are more familiar with the continental breakfast from the hotel.
A Shakshuka is the perfect foundation for the day. For a good shakshuka, onions, garlic and tomatoes are steamed in olive oil and then simmer until they have thickened. Eggs, which are beaten in the brew, ensure the conclusion. The whole thing is then served with fresh bread.
Modern variations with peppers, spinach and feta and other vegetables can be ordered in the numerous traditional restaurants. But I recommend the basic version ... makes you full and happy. Apparently the best Shakshuka is in Jaffa, where Chris was.
If you want to find out more, you can read his great article on travel tips Tel Aviv - the beauty of the sea.
Meze - across the menu
Meze are probably better known to most as tapas. Here the oriental variant. They are part of the starter at dinner in more Muslim-style restaurants and are served even without an order, sometimes up to 20 different ones at once. Small bowls with all kinds of vegetables and salads should get in the mood for the main course, but caution is advised here, otherwise you will be full beforehand.
Classics are tabuleh, a salad made from bulgur and vegetables, carrot salad, pickled beetroot, roasted peppers, fried cauliflower, hummus, fennel salad and parsley salad, which you should definitely try. Of course there is also pita as a side dish, how could it be otherwise.
Then you eat classic fish or fried meat with a side dish near the sea. For good fish you should definitely walk to Jaffa, the proximity to the harbor ensures that everything is super fresh here.
Dessert - Israeli food is also available in sweet
If you still haven't had enough, or if I belong to the group that has to end every hearty meal with a sweet, you will get your money's worth here too. The proximity of the Orient naturally brings with it some classics such as the well-known ones Baklava.
A particularly tasty variant of it is Knafeh. It is a type of quark that is wrapped in sweet threads. You can recognize Knafeh immediately by its bright orange color.
If you don't like it so cute, come by Halva fully at his expense. For this, sesame is ground, the sesame paste is sweetened and enriched with pistachios and / or nuts. This is then pressed into large loaves for display and looks like a cheese from Holland from a distance. Tastes indescribably good and is available in all imaginable flavors, also in new modern e.g. Oreo Cookie.
Something I've never eaten before is Malabi... an actually Turkish milk pudding, which is celebrating a particular success in Israel. Garnished with rose syrup and all kinds of nuts, you can get it everywhere, and it tastes particularly good with a strong Arabic coffee.
We have our Malabi in Tel Aviv at Hamalabiya eaten, the atmosphere just a stone's throw from the Carmel Market invites you to linger, free board games to borrow were on top of it (tip: the coffee is free if you order something else. Just ask for it).
Wild life and tasting without end - markets in Israel
What would a culinary journey through the country be without a visit to the market. For me, as a passionate eater and connoisseur, I went straight to the famous one on the first day Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. Everything you need in the household is offered here and, of course, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
All of this at prices that are simply unbelievably cheap. I only say 1kg Medjol dates for the equivalent of 3.50 euros, the kilo of avocados for only 4.50 euros. In the side streets of the market there are numerous food stalls and small restaurants, all of which looked incredibly tasty. Unfortunately, I was still struggling with the hummus and malabi, so I couldn't do a live test here.
However, hygiene regulations should not be viewed so closely, the German food control office clearly does not exist there. But people are fine, so it can't be that bad. By the way, on Fridays there is also an art market here, which is really nice and invites you to stroll.
In Jerusalem there is of course a market that is second to none. There it is called Mahane Yehuda Market. Personally, I clearly liked this one better. It's lighter and the stalls are much cleaner. The shopping bag for the return journey had to be filled here. We bought tea (for both warm and cold infusions), spices, dried fruit, sesame rings, halva, tahini and spice mixes for shakshuka.
That wasn't a problem when entering the country either, as I stowed everything in my suitcase. He still smells like my spices. By the way, on Thursdays the young people meet at the market late at night, eat and drink together. The weekend is just around the corner. If you are there, be sure to take part.
Conclusion on food in Israel
If I write these lines now, I immediately get hungry and longing for this wonderful kitchen that knows no borders, that mixes the old with the modern, east with west and then again north with south. As a fan of oriental cuisine, my expectations were of course fully met and I can only recommend everyone to overfeed themselves with hummus.
"Full but happy" was the motto of the entire holiday.
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I'm Katrin and I travel a lot!
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