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Israel Fun Facts: 6 Things To Know About Israeli Cuisine

Image: Israel Fun Facts: 6 Things To Know About Israeli Cuisine
A meal of fried sardines with tehina sauce, fresh pita, a cucumber and tomato salad, olives and pickles is served in a restaurant in the local produce market in Netanya in central Israel. (David Silverman/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 04:33 PM

Visitors of Israel can get a taste of the country’s diversity through the wide variety of cuisine. Here are six things to know about Israeli cuisine.

Worldwide influences: Jewish immigration to Israel brought along with it the influences of foods from throughout North Africa, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe and Russia, according to Serious Eats.

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Holiday staples: Jewish holidays carry many customs related to cuisine. Some holiday staples include meat-stuffed cigars (meat filling wrapped in phyllo-dough and deep fried) on Sabbaths, cheese blintzes (similar to crepes) on Pentacost, potato latkes (like pancakes) on Hanukkah and shislk (diced meat cooked on an open grill) on the country’s Independence Day, according to the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Daily eating: A typical Israeli breakfast includes cheeses, salads, olives, bread, juice and coffee. The noontime meal is the principal meal of the day for Israelis, who often eat light meals of dairy, salad or eggs in the evening.

Kosher practices: While Israel includes non-kosher restaurants, the Bible’s Kosher laws are observed by many Israelis, forbidding the consumption of foods such as pork, rabbit and shellfish, requiring a careful slaughter and preparation of meats and keeping dairy and meat separate, according to IFCJ.

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Common favorites: The Israel Food Guide details common foods associated with Israel on its website, including falafel; deep fried chickpea balls, hummus; a mashed chickpea spread, pita bread; a soft, slightly leavened flatbread, and baklava, a sweet layered pastry made with paper-tin sheets of unleavened phyllo. Lesser known favorites include: malabi, a milk and flour-based custard sweetened with rose water, and matbucha, a “Turkish salad” with a base of cooked tomatoes, bell peppers, garlic and onions. Other lesser known favorites include: kebab, ground meat packed with spices and grilled over an open flame, jachnun, a Yemenite bread made with paper-thin dough that is folded and rolled into a log, and kubbeh, balls of grain, minced onions and ground red meat cooked in a broth.

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Visitors of Israel can get a taste of the country’s diversity through the wide variety of cuisine. Here are six things to know about Israeli cuisine.
israel, fun, facts, cuisine
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2014-33-02
Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 04:33 PM
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