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.
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.
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 …
Israeli born Tal Spiegel has two passions in his life…..shoes & pastries. As an innovative graphic designer and chef patissier living in Paris, he combines the two by designing beautiful colourful pastries to go with his stylish shoe collection. He has created an Instagram feed ‘Desserted in Paris’ which showcases his imagination for beautifully crafted pastries which he cleverly marries to his exquisite taste in footwear. Already the famous Paris patisserie chain Fauchon, has made it’s mark in Tel Aviv, with the opening of a large shop in Sarona, selling stunning pastries and the magnificent macarons that have taken Israel by storm and yet another major French patisserie Laduree, is set to open it’s doors in Tel Aviv early next year. Laduree was founded in Paris in 1862 and considered to be the most well known bakery in the world for producing the perfectly round macaron. In 1930 the patisserie realised that by sandwiching the two macarons together with a cream filling was the way forward and today from its main bakery in Switzerland, the innovative flavoured double beauties …
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…..
The grapefruit contains large amounts of Vitamin C and fibre and has long been thought to have fat burning properties, which means since 1930’s it has been a ‘successful’ way to diet without going to the gym!! Israel is the largest exporter of grapefruits to the UK and at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Professor Yaakov Nahmias has been carrying out research into the chemical ‘naringenin’ thought to be responsible for burning fat. Naringenin is thought to kick-start the process of fat metabolising in our livers, but to have any effect on our waistlines, you would need to consume 40 grapefruits at any one time….
Himalayan Goji Berries have become global superfoods and one of the healthiest fruits in the world, due to their natural anti-inflammatory, anti- bacterial and anti-oxidant properties which help to boost the immune system and enhance strength and longevity. Goji has been imported from China in the form of powder and sold in Israel for many years, but its benefits are not as potent as the berries themselves. In a small field in Avigdor in southern Israel, Goji berries, also known as ‘Wolfberries’ are being grown, but at 200 NIS a kilo (£33 or $53), this reddish berry, that resembles a shrivelled cherry tomato may have topped the superfoods list, but has also shot to the fame as one of the most expensive superfoods on the market….
Today is ‘International Falafel Day’ and the world is celebrating the nearest thing Israel has to a national dish….the falafel. This is the 4th year that the spiced chickpea or fava bean deep fried ball has been honoured and with it’s popularity ever growing, it has now become the most famous of Israel’s street food. A healthy, inexpensive snack, full of protein and readily available, falafel is served in a soft pitta with a chopped salad of tomatoes and cucumber and lashings of tahini, which drips down your chin as you take your first bite….delicious! So next time you are on the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem or anywhere in Israel that serves the native dish…..grab one and devour it and let us know where you bought it,[caption