An Israel Food (Love-) Story
Our culinary experience in Israel
by guest author: Samantha Tauby
Restaurant Joyce is a beautiful restaurant located in Moshav Bitzaron, a short drive away from the city. (As we have learnt, everything around us was only ‘twenty’ minutes away!)
Joyce is a family owned, farmed to table establishment located in an unforgettable setting filled with beautiful views of the farm. The chef/owner’s family have owned the land and the farm for many years and now honours the families recipes and tradition by sharing it with others. The food was fresh and full of the Israeli flavour that we were longing for.
We started out having focaccia which we witnessed being made right in front of us, followed by delicious fish or schnitzel and ended with an amazing array of desserts. A fabulous way to start our culinary experiences.
Tour of Jaffa
After a couple of days exploring different centres, factories and of course Tel Aviv University, we rounded of our trip together by visiting and tasting Jaffa.
We made several different stops along the way to discover the hidden culinary gems in which Jaffa has to offer. With the help of our amazing guide, we were able to hustle our group together. She taught us the history of Jaffa and information on the food we were eating.
Our first stop was at “Leon’s Bakery”.
It is owned by a turkish family, who have been making phyllo pastries the same way for years. These pastries, also known as bourekas, are made fresh and come in many different varieties such as cheese, spinach and mushroom. These extremely flaky and savoury bourekas were a great way to start the day and kept us excited and wanting more!
Our next stop was “Shaked”, a coffee spot located on a busy corner in Jaffa.
Although this wasn’t necessarily a culinary spot, we were glad to fill our systems up with some well needed caffeine, which was also delicious, and some cold refreshments in the hot Israeli heat.
After some conversation we made our way down the street and stopped in front of “Hummus Danny”, a favourite amongst many. Here we were presented with bowls of three different kinds of hummus:
- classic hummus,
- hummus with fava beans and
- hummus with chick peas on top.
We devoured the hummus whilst learning about the two different ways people eat hummus; the classic way, gliding your pita around the bowl, vs. the trendy way, submerging your pita in the middle and dragging it to the outside.
We were a trendy group of people apparently!
Dr. Shakshuka is one of the most famous places that offer shakshuka, a now world famous Israeli dish.
Shakshuka is, in simple words, liquid gold. The combination of acidic tomatoes and peppers, creamy eggs and mixed with the most amazing spices is something that must be tasted once in a person’s life.
The thought of tasting shakshuka made all of our mouths water as soon as we saw what was coming toward us. We moped it up with fresh bread just as fast as it came.
After these culinary stops, the only thing missing was something sweet to round off our day and fill the small spaces left in our stomachs. “HaMalabia” is where our sweet tooth was satisfied with malabi. Malabi is a creamy pudding, flavoured with different syrups, such as rose water or orange blossom. Malabi isn’t a dessert for everyone’s taste buds, but once you appreciate its unique flavour, it can easily become a favourite.
Next to “HaMalabia” was a traditional Israeli souq where we walked around and witnessed life in Jaffa.
With our stomachs full and minds charged we ended the tour with beautiful views of old Jaffa and Tel Aviv reminiscing in the amazing culinary experience we had.
written by: Samantha Tauby
photos: courtesy of Samantha Tauby
Tags: Tel Aviv University