Eating in Israel – Most delicious dishes you need to try
Israeli cuisine is unique and delicious. While the country does not have a universally recognized national dish, spicy falafel, hummus, and pita are traditional foods. You must try them!
The national dish of Israel is Falafel and there are numerous legends recounting how this tasty bite was created. You can find it in markets all over the country and every street corner shop has it in stock. Falafel is made of chickpeas or fava beans or both. Falafel can be had along with other ingredients in a Middle Eastern mezze. It can also be combined with salad, hummus, pickles and tahini in a pita.
When translated directly, Shakshuka means “mixture”. It is a dish made by baking eggs in pepper, chilli, garlic sauce and spiced tomatoes. These ingredients are prepared all together in a traditional pan. An interesting fact is that every street vendor claims to have the best tasting Shakshuka. As such, we encourage you to sample different ones and make your own judgment.
Often referred to as pita’s best friend, Hummus is a silky dip made of chickpeas. It is so versatile that you can apply it on literally everything from breakfast, lunch or supper. For a little more flavor, you can order Hummus Masabacha which is made with tahini, chickpeas, lemon and paprika. Along the same flavorful lines, you can order Hummus that is made with onions, lamb mince and parsley.
In Greece, it is known as souvlaki, in Turkey it is known as doner and in Israel it is known as Shawarma. This authentic dish is stuffed with pickled turnips, hummus, tahini and salad all garnished with traditional spices to give you a powerful dose of flavor with every bite.
While the origins of many Middle Eastern dishes are shrouded in mystery, Sabich is well known to have Jewish Israeli origins. This is a dish made of hard boiled eggs, tahini, hummus, fried eggplant and salad all packed into pita bread. Sabich was brought to Israel in the 1950s by Jewish immigrants hailing from Iraq and is now one of the most commonly-requested street foods. As a matter of fact, most diners request that it be topped off with some amba, a sweet mango chutney that adds a sweet pop of fruity flavor.
By now you’ve noticed that Israeli cuisine contains a whole lot of bread. One of these pastries is Lechem bread which plays a very important role in the Jewish religion and also serves an essential role in the nation’s diet. As a matter of fact, breaking two loaves of Lechem bread signifies the commencement of a meal in Israel during Shabbat.
Easy to find all over the Middle East, Knafeh is essentially a cheese-filled dessert pastry that has been drowned in sugar syrup. In many cases, Knafeh is flavored with orange blossom or rosewater. As such, it is a perfect snack in the afternoon and also serves as a fantastic snack after dinner.
The cultivation of wine grapes is performed quite extensively in Israel. As a matter of fact, the Sharon Plain near Mount Carmel has exceptional conditions for growing wine-grapes. It has sediment-rich soils and a temperate climate on hill slopes that directly face the Mediterranean Sea. You can sample the best of the region while on a day-long journey Real Food Adventure by visiting the town of Zichron Yaakov.