Yes, it’s that time … it’s time for the food talk!
Have you begun wondering to yourself yet, what savory morsels of “who-knows-what” you will be eating in Israel? Well, not to blow our own shofar, but we Israelis are very proud of our Israeli-Jewish fusion cuisine, and luckily for you, there’s something in it for everyone!
Since almost all of our produce is domestically grown, in a country that takes just a few hours to travel between the farthest points, that means that everything is fresh fresh fresh! With the second highest number of vegetarians per capita in the world (second only to India), it’s no wonder that Israel is a vegetarian’s paradise. Between modern irrigation, water treatment technologies, and our varied climates which allow for year-round growing seasons, Israel is fit to supply fresh produce not only locally, but also internationally through exports.
Throughout our various regional climates, Israel grows everything from citrus fruits along the coastal plain; figs, pomegranates and olives in the cooler hill regions, mangoes, kiwis and bananas in the subtropical areas of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan Valley; and grapes, apples, cherries, and avocados in the mountainous Golan Heights and Upper Galilee, with much much more. No wonder we are nicknamed “Europe’s greenhouse” with all our food exports throughout the winter months!
That said, prepare yourself to be bombarded with fresh and numerous salads every day, and don’t be shy to branch out and try something new – they’re delicious and healthy, and did we mention fresh?!
Do you like cheese? Well, you are really going to be in for a treat. Israelis go bonkers for cheeses, and lots of them. In fact, a combination of salads, assorted cheeses with spreads and olives, with fish or lox on the side with freshly baked bread and a creative omelet make-up the typical Israeli breakfast.
And what about meat lovers? Vegetarian food is all good and well, but for the hardier eaters, Israel does not disappoint. Israeli cuisine has a rich tradition of savory meat dishes brought over by Jews who immigrated to Israel from all over the world during the last century; and mixing these many styles and flavors together in this cultural and culinary melting pot is just the thing to make these meals unforgettable. From the grilled beef kebabs, to the fresh cuts of lamb shawarmas, to the breaded turkey or chicken schnitzels, you’re in for a lip-smacking, belly-patting time.
Fish lovers will savor the experience of eating the fresh catch of the day at the Jaffa seaport, the oldest port in antiquity, or in Tiberias along the Sea of Galilee. But the great thing about Israel’s small size is that you really don’t have to be next any sea to get fresh fish.
Of course, this is just to whet your appetite. We haven’t even mentioned our local wines and beers, sauces and spreads, olives and olive oil, pastries, desserts, and of course hummus, pita bread and falafel which are the favorite snacks at any time of the day!
Over the next few weeks we will be writing in more detail about specific foods and dishes that are a must have on your coming trip, so stay tuned! And let us know, is this your first trip to Israel? If you’ve been here before, what was your favorite food experience?
See you here soon. Your Genesis team.