Even the toughest warriors need to eat! While in Israel, the Special Forces team in Ronie Kendig‘s Conspiracy of Silence takes a quick break to enjoy some local cuisine. The chuckle-worthy, mouth-watering scene that may or may not bring someone’s manliness into question, not only had my stomach growling, but also sent me running to the kitchen to try out one of the dishes for myself.
As one who loves to eat, I couldn’t resist exploring some typical Israeli foods (and a spice) and sharing them with you.
- Shakshuka — Traditionally a breakfast dish, it consists of poached eggs over a spicy tomato sauce with peppers, onion, garlic, cumin, and paprika. Typically served in a cast iron pan with pita or bread to dip in the sauce, this dish makes an appearance in Kendig’s novel. Locals recommend eating it at: Dr Shakshuka in Jaffa.
- Falafel — A deep-fried ball or patty made of chickpeas, it is often served in a pita topped with salads, pickled vegetables, and drizzled with tahini and hot sauce. Locals recommend eating it at: Falafel Dvora in Karkur.
- Shawarma — A middle eastern way of preparing meat in which lamb, chicken, beef, or turkey is skewered on a spit and cooked slowly on a rotating grill. When finished, shavings are cut off the block and served by pocketing the meat in a pita or flatbread with a variety of salads, veggies, and sauces. Locals recommend eating it at: Haj Khil in Jaffa
- Hummus — No list of must-eat foods in Israel would be complete without hummus, a creamy dip made of blended chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and garlic. While this is the classic version, store shelves brim with options, including Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Sun Dried Tomato Hummus, and Roasted Pine Nut Hummus. My favorite had a hot kick to it. Locals recommend eating it at: Humus Ben Sira in Jerusalem and Abu Michel in Lod.
- Baklava is a rich, sweet dessert made with layers of filo dough filled with nuts and held together by syrup or honey. Locals recommend eating it at: Diana Restaurant and Mahroum Sweets in Nazareth.
- Zaatar — Though technically not food, this middle eastern spice is a staple in Israeli kitchens. The sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, oregano, and salt blend is used to season meat and vegetables, to garnish hummus, and to eat with olive oil over pita.
- Sufganiyot — Considering that Hanukkah is two days away, I couldn’t fail to mention the doughnut-like pastry that only makes an appearance once a year for the festival of lights. Deep fried and topped with powdered sugar, the traditional filling (and my favorite!) is jelly, though they can also be found with custard, chocolate, and caramel.
All this talk of food has made me hungry. What about you? However, before anyone heads to the kitchen, I have an exciting event to share!
Hop on over to Ronie’s website for a chance to win awesome prizes!