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…..
“more than just soup….a Tel Aviv foodie winter” was written by Israel Good Food Guide’s Ruth Nieman as a foodie’s guide to winter produce in Israel and how they differ to Western countries. Together with the wondrous markets in Tel Aviv, where local produce can be found, recipes for artichokes and strawberries, the article also reviews Rustico, an Italian restaurant for all the family, that brings ‘a slice of Italy’ to Tel Aviv, with it’s warming winter pastas and risottos. To enjoy reading the full article go to: http://www.itraveltelaviv.com/articles/a-tel-aviv-foodie-winter This article was originally published on http://www.itraveltelaviv.com/”>www.iTravelTelAviv.com
Israel can take pride going into 2016, in the knowledge that four of it’s restaurants have made it onto ‘La Liste’, compiled for the worlds top 1000 acclaimed restaurants. ‘La Liste’ was invented by Antoine Ribaut, a French-American computer systems architect who compiled the data from many food sources and guides from 92 countries, including Michelin and Trip Advisor. With the help and support of France’s Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius and the French Tourist board, the 1,000 restaurants were agreed and named, including Israel’s very own Herbert Samuel, Mul Yam, Manta Ray, and Helena. Herbert Samuel of 6 Koifman, Tel Aviv was ranked 643 and with it’s inventive menu of locally sourced ingredients and beautiful location overlooking the Mediterranean sea, is justified on all levels. Mul Yam, Tel Aviv’s highly acclaimed seafood restaurant was ranked 668, despite it sadly closing it’s doors back in July 2015, due to a devastating fire. Manta Ray, 703 Yehezkel Kaufman, also in Tel Aviv came highly ranked at 779, due to its stunning location on the beach, as well as it’s famous …
It’s that time of year; winter is upon us, darkness has fallen by late afternoon and we are looking to light the first candle in the menorah, for tonight we bring in the joyous festival of Chanukah. Chanukah is where we celebrate the miracle of light, when the Israelites found only enough oil to last for one night in the Holy Temple of Jerusalem, but through a miracle this last drop kept burning for eight nights. Therefore, every night for eight nights, we light a new candle in the menorah in celebration. Like most of the Jewish festivals, Chanukah is heavily associated with food and so to keep with tradition, we typically eat fried foods, such as sufganyiot otherwise known as doughnuts and potato latkes or pancakes, symbolising the miracle of the burning lamps. In Israel today, sufganyiot or deep fried doughnuts are a delicacy that are enjoyed by making yeasted dough, rolled into balls which ere then plumped up by inserting fruit jam into the middle and once deep fried, granulated sugar is sprinkled on top, giving rise to a sweet, sugary bun…..
Last night I was introduced to the ‘Crembo’….Israel’s winter ice cream substitute and considered to be ‘the best thing ever’ by all sweet toothed Israelis. The Crembo is a thin biscuit base, with a dome of unctuous, sweet, vanilla flavoured cream, with an almost Italian meringue consistency, smothered in rich dairy free milk chocolate and wrapped in foil. It is dairy free and therefore can be eaten after a meat meal. They are exported to the United States to mostly Kosher shops. Being a nation of coffee lovers, the Crembo can too be found in a coffee flavoured cream middle, but it is the vanilla flavoured confection that is still the favourite. Crembo is only found in the shops after the heat of the summer and as autumn begins. It is eaten only in the winter months, usually from October to February when is disappears from the shelves, to make way for ‘real’ ice cream. Once tasted, there is no going back from the national winter dessert….’The Crembo’
With temperatures still lingering on in the 80’s, ice cream remains a hot topic with new parlours opening throughout Israel, with flavours to excite everyone’s taste buds. Ice cream, sorbets and frozen yoghurts with a taste of Sicily or Tuscany thrown in to the mix are delighting all of the country, with creative combinations of flavours to cater for all tastes. These new boutique parlours are missing no-one out, with sorbets and granitas for vegans, ice cream that is gluten free using rice flour as their substitute for wheat flour and all are being made with out additives or preservatives and using natural and local produce. Innovative infusions have caused a stir on the palate with the addition of warm spices or nut pastes added to the all the old favourites of chocolate, coffee and vanilla to name but a few…..pure decadence!!
In the newly opened Sarona Market in Tel Aviv, a slice of Parisian patisserie is making an impact with the arrival of Fauchon, French gastronomy at its best!! Established in 1886 by Auguste Fauchon, the French culinary traditions of using only the finest raw ingredients still hold true in his brand of chocolates and patisserie, now selling in Tel Aviv’s Sarona market. Éclairs, millefeuilles, truffles and macarons are just some of the delicacies that are sure to excite the tastebuds of Sarona’s shoppers….