Israeli Food: A Primer

This article first appeared in Go Girl Magazine. Please check it out here!

Last week marked my one year anniversary of living in Israel. Prior to moving here, I had never even visited the country, so was not entirely sure what to expect. Being a food writer, I was most excited about one thing: the food. As a fairly young country, Israeli cuisine is something that is still being defined, a mixture of cultures from around the world. The cuisines of its neighboring Middle Eastern countries are reflected in many of the dishes, but you’ll also find North African, Mediterranean, Eastern European, and Asian influences. Continue reading “Israeli Food: A Primer”

A Year in Israel, a Year of Israeli Recipes

Today is my anniversary. Not my wedding anniversary (that’s in July, silly). It’s my Israel anniversary. Exactly one year ago today I boarded a plane with two suitcases and moved to a country I had never before visited. It was on the plane that I realized how little I knew about Israel, how little Hebrew I knew. I had taught myself the alef bet (alphabet) and how to count to ten, but I didn’t even know how to say thank you. I was in the middle seat and the sweet old man next to me helped me put a bag overhead, moved when I needed to get out. And I couldn’t thank him. I felt suddenly helpless. Continue reading “A Year in Israel, a Year of Israeli Recipes”

Where to Shop for Food in Be’er Sheva

You may have heard about the tent protests going on around Israel right now. It’s being called the largest social protest in the country’s history. It all began in July when a woman named Daphne Leef pitched a tent on Tel Aviv’s upscale Rothschild Avenue in response to the lack of affordable housing. As with any successful movement these days, she started a Facebook page and people quickly joined her. Soon thousands of tents lined the street and it spread to other cities in the country. Continue reading “Where to Shop for Food in Be’er Sheva”

To Abu Ghosh, In Search of Israel’s Best Hummus


In a country that can’t agree on much of anything, where everyone claims to be the best at whatever they do, and where people are so passionate about hummus, if you ask 50 different Israelis where to get the best hummus, you will get 50 different answers. The title of best hummus is hotly contested and there are as many styles (Lebanese, Jordanian, Syrian, Druze, etc., etc.) as there are opinions. But, somehow, there seems to be some sort of consensus that the Arab village of Abu Ghosh, just outside Jerusalem, is the hummus capital of Israel. Continue reading “To Abu Ghosh, In Search of Israel’s Best Hummus”

15 Pounds of Garlic Later…

I’ve been a delinquent blogger. I haven’t quite managed to get back on track since returning from our Central European vacation. There was catching up to do, articles to write, an apartment to clean, holidays to celebrate, and a slight malaise to top it all off. Evan has had off this week which means all we want to do is play. The beach was calling. Even now I am coated in sunscreen, ready to hit the shores of Ashkelon despite a looming deadline. Continue reading “15 Pounds of Garlic Later…”

A Culinary Tour of Tel Aviv

I may live in Be’er Sheva, but since moving to Israel in September I’ve been a frequent visitor to Tel Aviv. It has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the world – it has the buzz and sophistication of New York, the pace and cafe culture of a European city, and soft white sand beaches on the Mediterranean. What could be bad? Of course one of the places in Tel Aviv I always head to is the Carmel Market, the city’s frenetic shuk filled with tourists and locals, produce and souvenirs. Continue reading “A Culinary Tour of Tel Aviv”

A Middle Eastern Spread

Next to the massive, leisurely breakfasts so famous in Israel, mezze is the next best part of any meal. This array of little dips and spreads often clutter the table at restaurants that specialize in meat skewers, but they also show up in any number of places and are favorites to make at home. The dishes are an illustration of the diversity of Israeli cuisine, with roots in Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and even Europe. Everyone has their own variations and ratio of spices. To read more about mezze check out my recent article on the subject for the Jewish Daily Forward’s food blog, The Jew and the Carrot. Continue reading “A Middle Eastern Spread”

Reflecting on a Year in Transition

I guess it’s pretty cheesy and cliche to do a post reflecting on my year, especially when this blog is only four months old. But it’s been a packed year, full of surprises and transitions. If you’d asked me a year ago if I thought I’d ever live in Israel I would have looked at you like you were nuts. Of course, I think I assumed I would still be in New York. Why would I ever leave? Continue reading “Reflecting on a Year in Transition”

Discovering Treyf in the Land of Kashrut

Before moving to Israel I figured that once here my treyf* supply would be cut. I thought it would be something like obtaining beef in India, where restaurants need special licenses to serve it. I resigned myself to months without bacon, pork chops, shrimp, and scallops. But I also figured a break from it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world – in the past year alone I’ve had bacon in everything from chocolate to cupcakes, and from bourbon to donuts, and I’m sure my cholesterol is skyrocketing. Continue reading “Discovering Treyf in the Land of Kashrut”