Israeli Cuisine

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Israel cuisineThe term "Israeli cuisine" is something that a lot of critics and academics love to argue about. The people arguing in the ivory tower think that it’s not really cuisine but for those people who just love to eat, who’s complaining? Israelis have been able to come up with delicious and varied types of food rooted in the very distinct culture of Israeli people.

Essentially, Israeli cuisine is considered to be the true melting pot which is Israel. Since Jews come from over 80 countries worldwide, they have been able to return to their home land and introduce several recipes and foods which they have been able to perfect during their nomadic absence.

One example of this is the Eretz Yisrael Cake which is a recipe that was created by an immigrant using ingredients native to the land of Israel. These recipes have interspersed with other Jewish recipes yet it has still retained their Jewish dietary laws to come up with a unique take on food.

The variety of Israeli food is simply due to the different historical, sociological and agricultural factors that surround it. Since Israeli people have long-standing traditions, they are able to still follow these traditions while making the most out of the food that is produced in their immediate geographical area.

Falafel is probably a great favorite among Israeli and humus is found in almost every Israeli home. Eggs also provide a natural protein source for the society and their fruits and vegetables are served and cooked in very unique ways. They love their vegetables in Israel that they even eat it for breakfast.

For example, the Jewish dietary law states that they are not to eat foods such as shellfish and pork. Since Israel is also situated in the Middle East, some of its foods have Middle-Eastern roots such as the popular falafel which is deep-fried chick pea balls in pita bread as well as the famous Israeli salad of tomatoes and cucumbers prepared in uniquely petite sizes.

There are also traditions in Easter Europe which play important roles in Israeli cuisine which is sour cream and other dishes such as borsht which is a soup made of beets that is served cold.

Geography is said to have a large part in influencing the Israeli cuisine. Because of this, foods which are common to the region such as olives and olive oil, yogurt, chickpeas and wheat have all come together in the diets of Israeli people. Other Jewish holidays also have a say in what they eat. Because of this, sufganiot or jelly doughnuts are served on Hanukkah and the Israeli haroset is served during Passover.

Most of the customs of Israeli food corresponds to the wider Mediterranean region more with lunch rather than dinner since for the Israeli people, lunch is the crucial meal of the day. Jewish customs also have an effect with how they eat their food so Shabbat (Sabbath) dinner and Shabbat lunch are the main festive meals in Israeli homes.