All posts filed under: food excitement

Israel’s good cheese guide….

With the emphasis on Israel’s cuisine being heavily placed upon dairy, it is not surprising that there is an increase across the country in boutique dairies, providing innovative alternatives to traditional cheeses. Until recently the larger companies and supermarkets were the main suppliers of Israel’s dairy staples such as cottage cheese, cream cheese and labneh, the Middle Eastern cheese made with cow, goats or sheep milk. Throughout Tel Aviv, Israel’s culinary capital, quaint little delicatessens and Fromageries have been selling delicious cheeses and all forms of dairy products to chefs, restaurants and cheese lovers alike, produced both in the country and imported from France, Italy and Holland. In my latest article for The Culture Trip, A Cheese Lover’s Guide To Tel Aviv, discover where artisan cheese and dairy products are being sourced, to create new and exciting dishes, both sweet and savoury. recipe: labneh 500g natural yoghurt 1/2 teaspoon salt olive oil, zaatar, black pepper, fresh oregano leaves & pistachios, to serve take a large square of muslin/cheesecloth rinse in cold water & wring dry line a colander with …

any excuse for cheesecake….

Every Jewish festival has a culinary significance and Shavout makes no exception. Also known as the spring harvest, this festival of weeks, directly translated from the Hebrew, makes two references to the connotations of food, the end of the spring barley and the start of the summer wheat harvest, as well as the dietary laws laid down in the Torah, when given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Shavout is by far my favourite festival, in so much as it is customary to only eat dairy products during the holiday and therefore a cheesecake fest takes place in Israel. The laws of keeping kosher does not allow milk to be eaten after meat and it is said that as the  laws of the Torah were handed down to Moses on Shabbat, there was not enough time to slaughter the animals, so only dairy was eaten and therefore the tradition has been maintained. Israel is also the “land flowing with milk and honey” and it is from that Biblical saying that we eat the dairy products of the land. The food of Israel has always been …

Mulberries…the ‘super’ spring berry

Although June is now upon us, the Galilee still bears the beauty of spring, with the lush green hills, the wild flowers still in bloom and trees laden with the new seasons crop. The spring harvest has begun in the Golan, Northern Israel and fruit picking is a family outing,  picking the berries and cherries that laden the trees in these lovely late spring early summer months, before the real heat hits hard. Mulberries, a superfood in its own right through its high Vitamin C content and antioxidant properties, deck the trees with their ripe red fruit with a deep purple hue, ready for turning into jam, chutney or dark red sorbet. recipe: mulberry sorbet 750g washed, fresh mulberries 200g caster sugar 250mls water 1/2 juice of lemon 2 tablespoons of cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) or elderflower cordial mint or edible flowers for garnish put the caster sugar, water & lemon juice in a pan bring to the boil & simmer for a few minutes until all the sugar has dissolved remove from the hob to cool completely place the mulberries in food …

‘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 …

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          

all shuk up….

Israel Good Food Guide’s Ruth Nieman has been exploring Tel Aviv’s Foodie markets in her latest article, published and currently editor’s choice in The Culture Trip. Each market has it’s own special vibe yet share the same intoxicating feeling of excitement, when roaming in amongst the stalls, shops and cafes…All Shuk Up…. Experience the atmosphere of the stalls spilling out onto the busy streets, the smell of roasting coffee beans pouring out of the cafes’ and meander through the cobbled streets, looking for the spices, baharat, cinnamon or cumin for cooking traditional Israeli food.

spring is in the air….

  Tu B’Shevat, is marked in the Jewish calendar as a celebration of the sign of the early saplings and the beginning of the Spring. Known as the New Year for Trees, this festival is traditionally known as the festival of nature and marked by the planting of young trees across Israel and the involvement in ecological projects up and down the country. Tu B’Shevat is thought to be an agricultural festival with strong biblical roots and as with most Jewish festivals, religious or non, food plays an integral part. It is the fruits and grains native to the land of milk and honey that are significant on Tu B’Shevat and therefore it is customary to eat pomegranates, dates, figs, grapes, barley, wheat and olives, known as the 7 species from the book of Deuteronomy. Despite the heavy rains in Israel today, young trees are being planted and beautiful seasonal produce are being eaten, for today is Tu’B’Shevat and spring is in the air…..