The Joys of the Shuq


After a week in Be’er Sheva I’ve got the supermarket thing pretty down. But then my friend Beth took me to the real market, the Shuq in the Old City. A large, vibrant open air market of the kind popular throughout Israel and this part of the world, on my first visit I was like a kid in a candy store. Stall after stall had vendors selling produce, eggs, meat, olives, grains, spices, and household goods.

The standard vegetables looked fresher and cost less than their supermarket counterparts, but it was the fruit that that really caught my eye. Dragon fruit, passion fruit, pomegranate, persimmon, and figs, figs, figs! We have these things in New York but they’re sad shadows of what they’re supposed to be. I bought them all. When I got home I arranged them in my fruit basket and just stared at how pretty they were. Where am I? This fruit bowl didn’t nearly resemble the boring assemblage of apples and bananas I’d have in the States.


Avocado, Persimmon, Fig, and Pomegranate Salad

Now I had to find a use for all that fruit and quick. The first thing I did was to make an avocado, persimmon, fig, and pomegranate salad. I wasn’t entirely sure that these flavors would go together, but they were simply divine. The avocado here is on the bland side so after I sliced it I drizzled it liberally with lime juice and salt. I added sliced persimmons, figs, and pomegranate seeds and topped the whole thing with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Just gorgeous.

4 thoughts on “The Joys of the Shuq

  1. Arlene Hanson

    I love your blog…and I often buy fruit or veggies just to put in a bowl and admire….they get composted after desiccation. The beauty is worth it to me. But you can enjoy both….lucky you.

  2. Maayan

    Yesterday at the shuq I bought, what after some research turned out to probably be, a cherimoya. The guy at the shuq told me that next week is the end of the season, but I double checked with my family and they said that it just started and has 2-3 months to go. Lauren looked it up and it is “often considered one of the best tasting fruits in the world.” Highly recommended. I’m going to try baking one, I found the idea online, I’ll let you know how it goes. Tangentially related note: Aubrey tipped me on frozen dragonfruit. Amazing.

  3. Maayan

    OK, it’s better fresh. Baking the cherimoya/custard apple made it kinda bitter and it has this weird perfumey taste. It did caramelize though so i feel like it has potential. We will have to experiment over the next few months.

    • Katherine

      So it is a custard apple! That’s what I thought those things were! I love them. Used to eat them in India all the time; just cut in half and eat with a spoon. I’ve never tried cooking with them before – will definitely have to experiment!

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