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A Tour Guide to Israeli Food

When people think of Italian food, pasta is the first thing that comes to mind. A lot of people associate Chinese food with rice and chicken fused with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. When you think about Israel, food is probably not the first thing to come to mind. Most people visualize holy places, world class museums, and beautiful beaches.  So what defines Israeli food? Aside from hummus and falafel, many people draw a blank when it comes to Israeli food. What do Israelis eat? What kind of foods and cuisines are there in Israel?

The majority of Israelis hail from all four corners of the world — and they brought their countries’ food traditions with them. So in a country that is roughly the size of New Jersey, you can discover a wide range of cuisines, including:

  • Middle Eastern dishes from Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Lebanon
  • North African foods from Morocco and Libya
  • Mediterranean fare from Greece and Turkey
  • Balkan dishes from Bulgaria and Romania
  • European cooking from Germany, Russia, Poland and Hungary
  • Yemenite, Indian, Ethiopian, Druze, Arab Israeli, and Bedouin foods
  • Asian and American dishes can also be enjoyed in Israel!

Vegetables are an Israeli favorite. In fact, most Israeli cuisines are incorporated with vegetables. Israelis even have their own new Israeli Kitchen that uses all kinds of local Israeli food ingredients like Israeli herbs and spices, Israeli fine olive oil and a lot of Israeli vegetables. Leaving in a Middle Eastern hot climate country, Israelis as a rule tend to combine more veggies in their dishes. Even totally non Israeli foods like French or German dishes, are added extra veggies once made in Israel- even though the original recipe does not contain any veggies at all! Considering the warming affect of fat and carbohydrates have over one’s body, it is easy to see why Israelis tend to combine veggies into their meals.

A sampling of dishes served in the homes of Israel's varied ethnic population follows. Rest assured, the modern visitor to Israel need not delight in falafel and burekas alone; eateries offering your favorite international fare - Argentinian or Chinese, Mexican or French, Thai or Italian, Indian or American - abound. However, the country has truly developed a food culture unique in its range of flavors, colors, aromas and very delicious choices. With Israelis' tireless tilling and cultivation of the Holy Land, the country can now even boast homegrown specialties, including world-class wines,
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