Author: Ruth Nieman

dedicated to the humble chickpea….

May 13th is marked on the calendar as International Hummous Day,  a whole day dedicated to the humble chickpea. A popular dip throughout Israel and the Middle East, hummous has recently been elevated to becoming one of Israel’s ‘national foods’, appearing on menus in restaurants and cafe’s throughout the country. Chickpeas are legumes and rich in nutrients. They are considered to be a popular source of vitamins and minerals in the diet of both vegetarians and vegans. It popularity follows the dietary laws of Kashrut and therefore hummous can be eaten with both meat and milk meals. Hummous is directly translated from the Arabic meaning ‘chickpeas’ a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine dating back to ancient times, although widely used in stews and tagines, rather than as a cold dip. Hummous in it’s simplest form is made from cooked, mashed chickpeas and combined with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic and salt,  however, many combinations of spices can be added for extra flavour with cumin, coriander or smoked paprika being the most popular and garnishes including whole chickpeas, pinenuts, flat leaf parsley or paprika.  Other versions include using …

‘foodography’ the genre of food art…..

From a highly competitive market, the judges of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards sifted through 7000 images and films entered this year. Andy Macdonald, director of Pink Lady® in the UK said “the competition was intensely fierce and the standard was phenomenal” as he announced this years overall winner Mark Benham, who captured the immense fun and art of baking, with ‘flour frenzy’. At a culinary star studded reception in the Mall Galleries, London, on Tuesday 28th April 2016, journalist and food critic, Jay Rayner took to the stage to compere and announce the winners of the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Awards. The Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, now in its fifth year, is recognised as the world’s leading celebration of the art of food photography, attracting fierce competition worldwide. The winner of Best Food for Celebration category was won by Shoeb Faruquee from Bangladesh, with his stunning image of The Grand Kitchen, portraying a frenetic scene of chefs in a hot, steamy kitchen preparing for a wedding feast. …

the green gems of spring….

With Spring in full bloom, the Galilee is a place of beauty with wild flowers cascading through the lush green hills, the smell of the citrus in the air and the white blossoms have fallen to the ground, to make way for the first fruits. May heralds the beginning of the elusive fresh, green almond, a misunderstood nut that is grown in Northern Israel and throughout the Middle East. South of Nazareth in the Lower Galilee is the Arab village of Iksal, famous for their almond groves and the abundant harvests of a special strain of almond called Um al-Fahem. unique not only in it’s size and taste but also for it’s extra soft skin. These almonds are sold as fair trade and known to be amogst the best in Israel. Delicate in both flavour and texture, the young, unripe nuts are picked whilst the outer skin remains light green and furry, well before the hard brown shell of the almond has had the chance to form. Inside the light olive green casing is a smooth, soft, white almond with a subtle, grassy flavour. They …

it’s a wonderful, culinary world out there…..

I have two passions in life….food and Israel….but not necessarily in that order… Israel Good Food Guide is my way of combining my enthusiasm for both and giving you a taste of the eclectic cuisine of Israel, through news, reviews and delicious pictures of plates of art. With tips on where to buy and eat wonderful produce, both on and off the beaten track, great recipes to try and recommendations for experiencing the coffee culture, culinary tours and workshops, you will see for yourself how exciting the food of Israel really is. I will introduce you to great restaurants as well as the inspirational chefs and creators of  exquisite food, so join me in meeting the ‘foodies’ of this wonderful, diverse culinary world.

food culture in the galilee…..

Israel has an eclectic population with diverse cultures; however food is a culture that can be experienced by all. Israel’s northern region is a beautiful mountainous range, separated and known as the upper and lower Galilee. A lush land full of food that has matured from small beginnings into the fruit bearing trees, vines, wild herbs and edible flowers synonymous with the area and grown, foraged and picked by the locals for its freshness, taste and nutritional value. A world apart from the culinary capital of Tel Aviv where highly acclaimed chefs produce gourmet food as works of art on the plate, the food from the north is rustic, homely and cooked straight from the ground. Galileat, the brainchild of an Australian chef, Paul Nirens, who moved to the north of Israel over 30 years ago. Paul trained in one of Israel’s leading culinary schools before managing commercial kitchens in a competitive profession. Whilst selling locally crafted gourmet foods, he found an opportunity in the untapped market of intercultural activities in the Galilee, through food. …

About Ruth….

I am a passionate foodie, I spend my time between Israel and London, writing, photographing and eating great Middle Eastern food. Inspired from working in the kitchens of Kibbutz Amiad, in northern Israel over 30 years ago, I returned to London to complete a Diploma in Food and Wine at Leiths Cookery School, with the sole aim of setting up a catering company, providing fresh, exciting food for all occasions and baking delicious cakes!! I set up Israel Good Food Guide to showcase the very best of Israel’s cuisine, through write-ups of restaurants and innovative young chef, cafes, food tours and markets as well all the latest food news from Tel Aviv to the Galilee, accompanied by beautiful photographs taken on my travels. I am a foodie with a distinction, having gained a diploma in food journalism in 2016, and have embarked on writing a cookbook, The Galilean Kitchen, showcasing the food of the region. My food meanderings in both Israel and London are never far away from Twitter, so follow my culinary expeditions or get in touch …

the ethos is simply….ice cream

Ice cream, common throughout all cultures, is being heralded as the new language, with the sound of a lick… “Buza” a luxurious ice cream parlour in the Western Galil is the venture of Adam Ziv, a Jewish kibbutznik from Sasa and Alaa Sawitat, an Arab Muslim from Ma’alot Tarshiha. Taken from the Arabic word ‘meaning ice cream, this new shop opened in Tarshiha shuk last July and although attracts a mixed clientele, they are all only interested in the homemade new flavours of ice cream on sale that day. During a gap year in Europe and Africa, Ziv apprenticed at gelaterias in Italy, with the aim of returning to Israel to set up his own store. Seeking the advice of his old family friend Sawitat, an experienced restauranteur in Tarshiha, they decided to join forces and open Buza, a partnership that allows Ziv to create the ice cream and leaves Sawitat to run the business. They currently have four ice cream outlets, as well as running a workshop on Kibbutz Sasa, teaching the art of making this sublime creamy dessert. …

a new look…..

Israel’s cuisine is the fusion of the Middle East and its surrounding Mediterranean influences with the Sephardic and Askenazi styles of Jewish cooking, to produce creative, innovative modern food from the traditions of old. The Israel Good Food Guide is about allowing you to discover their culinary delights, in the hope that you will experience the foods, restaurants, chefs, produce and all things ‘foodie’ in Israel, to make your culinary tour the very best it can be.

eclectic chefs, cultures & cuisines…..

Tel Aviv, the culinary capital of Israel is full of gastronomic diversity, due to the wanderings and innovative discoveries made by Israel’s hungry young chefs, as explored in Ruth Nieman’s latest article, published today on The Culture Trip. Exploring this eclectic group of chefs through their travels to Michelin starred establishments throughout Europe and the Far East and back to the vibrant metropolis of Tel Aviv, the array of assorted tastes and flavours can be found in their restaurants. Taste the authenticity of the individual chef’s styles in Abraxas North, Taizu, Raphael, Tapas Ahad Ha’Am or Nanuchka, where the unique style of  Georgian cuisine, where meat is known to be the key ingredient, has been turned into a Vegan haven, where tofu, soya and legumes stand proud….. http://theculturetrip.com/middle-east/israel/articles/tel-avivs-eclectic-chefs-cultures-and-cuisines