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.
It is tradition on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish new year to eat foods that symbolises the hope we have for sweetness in the coming year. Apples are used as a reminder from the times when the Israelites were in slavery, where the giving of a apple became the symbol of hope and from the land ‘flowing with milk and honey’ we take our sweetener. Slices of apples dipped into sweet honey has become customary as our way of wishing family and friends a happy and sweet new year…..Shana Tova V’Metuka. Other food customs to bring in the new year include making a round Challah loaf instead of the plaited bread traditional on Shabbat, symbolising the continuity of the creation in the circle of life and the pomegranate, a fruit full of seeds, is also considered to be very special to have on the table as the ‘new fruit’, full of optimism for the coming year.
Israel’s health ministry has ruled that Heinz tomato ketchup should be re-labelled and sold in Israel as ‘tomato seasoning’ due to insufficient tomato concentrate. Israel’s top selling brand of ketchup Osem, tested Heinz ketchup and found it contained a mere 21% tomato concentrate which is not enough to call it ketchup by Israeli standards, who require almost double the amount at 41%. Heinz ketchup dates back to 1876, where it made it’s debut in America and has since been accepted as the number one brand for ketchup exporting over 12 million bottles a year, without ever questioning it’s name or tomato content. With the Israeli standard for ketchup yet to be brought in line with the accepted international standards, Israel’s distributer of the Heinz tomato ketchup is reputedly looking into changing these regulations, allowing it’s name to remain unscathed on Israel’s supermarket shelves…..
Tu Ba’av, celebrated on 15th Av, is both a traditional and modern celebration of love. In the time of the second temple, this day was a day of ‘matchmaking’ for unmarried women and today in Israel is it the ‘day of love’ likening itself to Valentine’s Day in England. Foods that we most associate with love are rich and unctuous, namely chocolate, honey and figs and there are many ways of serving these aphrodisiac’s on a plate, to show that food can be attractive to the eye and to the palate. The red and pink hearts are out in force in Israel today and menus in restaurants will reflect the mood of love, so whether it is a romantic meal, coffee and chocolate cake or just flowers and delicious chocolates…tantalise the taste buds with the food of love….
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