Sunday, November 14, 2010

Things that you can see from there you can't see from here

Frozen yogurt with fresh figs and halva, best combination ever:

Israeli halva is based on sesame seed paste and usually breaks apart like dreamy fairy floss.

Here is a picture of the best humus I have ever tasted (pronounced with a guttural h - "hoomoos"). My father and I walked around Tel-Aviv and he took me to this tiny restaurant in a back alleyway. The restaurant doesn't even have a name, nor a menu.

This is what it looks like:

This is the chef, greeted fondly by the locals, and working from morning to night in front of this barbecue which he fans occasionally with a newspaper. Best kebabs too, but I ate so fast I didn't get a chance to take a photo. Sorry.

In the mornings, I liked to eat this carob spread on my fresh bread. I had forgotten that carob (haroov) is something I picked from a tree on my way to school when I was eight, you could suck on the sweet pods. As I grew older far away from Israel carob became a weird replacement for chocolate which people bought in health-food stores, how had I forgotten my haroov trees?

I also ate this:

This is a chocolate "yogurt," I use the term loosely, called "Dani" (yes, it's a children's yogurt which has been given a boy's name). The taste of Dani is so intrinsically connected to my childhood that the experience of eating it again was sublime.

I had quite a few salads which had apples cut up into them. Great idea!!

Fresh mint leaves, called "aley na'ana" are superb in fresh lemonade. Also pour boiling water on them and, voila, the best mint tea you'll ever have.

An omelet sandwich people, it's all about omelet sandwiches. They are everywhere you look. Great idea! Make an omelet chik-chak (slang for "quick-smart") and slip it into a pita (you know, the pocket bread). Add some cream-cheese and a slice of tomato and you have the BEST meal ever.

Finally - there is no Starbucks in Israel and my brother says that it's because Israelis don't "get it". They don't get why someone would rush into a cafe, grab a coffee and take it away, even sip it ON THE RUN. Israelis are all about sitting down comfortably and having a REAL breakfast with their coffee - a big salad, cheeses and an omelet sandwich.

The title for this post comes from the famous (in Israel, that is) song by Matti Caspi - songwriter extraordinaire. The translation and transliteration is here.... it is a singalong after all.


eurolush said...

Your posts make me ravenously hungry...but I love them none the less. God, that hummus looks amazing. I could devour it in one swallow? And the omelet sandwich...with cream cheese...and tomato? Perfection in a pita!

I've packed my bags. I'm on my way to Tel-Aviv as you read this.

Paola said...

We have a lot of carob trees here but nobody eats them anymore. My mom tells me they would fight to grab them as kids.
That hummus looks delish! As the omelette sandwich does.
Oh Eurlush? Hold up, I'ma coming too.

Frogdancer said...

Lemon verbena leaves also make a great herbal tea with boiling water poured over them.

kim at allconsuming said...

I haven't been commenting because I keep meaning to RING you but then time gets away from me and lo, I appear that I'm ignoring you.

I'm not! I missed you! These posts have been ENLIGHTENING. Seriously. To me Israel is all about bombing and survival. To see that there is life and community and cafes and a lifestyle is just amazing. I know. I'm so ignorant.

And you know I have moved my blog? I'm at:

kim at allconsuming said...

You know I've been craving decent frozen yoghurt ever since you posted this. Damn you woman.

Jen said...

Such memories--the only time I was in Israel was as a 7-year-old. I remember lots of felafel stands, and carrot juice. I could never get past the texture of halva, but I loved the carrot juice.