Israel is a Mediterraean country, it shares the climate (מזג אוויר) and the food (אוכל). Many Israeli foods are similar to the surrounding cusines.
One of the most famous Israeli foods is the Felafel. (פלאפל) This dish is made up of ground chickpeas, that are made into small balls, and then fried. Then it is put inside a pita,(פיתה) which is a small round bread that opens up and is filled with salad (סלט), usually cut up tomatoes, and cucumbers. The main topping is techina (טחינה) which is ground sesame seeds in a sauce, and topped off with French fries.
The Seven Species
Many Israeli foods are centered upon the Seven species (שבעת המינים) that are traditionally thought to be native to the Land of Israel. Olives, figs, dates, pomegranates, wheat, barley and grapes, all figure prominetly in the Israeli kitchen. There are many different types of olives, which when pickeled all taste different! These foods are also important for the Jewish holidays (החגים), the grape for Shabbat in the form of wine, wheat is made into many different types of cakes and pastries, and dates are also made into luscious cakes. Stuffed grape leaves with rice and spices is also a favorite side dish.
Foods from the beginning of the State
Eggplant (חציל) was a main staple of the diet of the pioneers of the State of Israel. It was made into many different foods, such as “chopped liver,” (כבד קצוץ) and used as well as a substitute for meat. The “chopped liver” was made from a smoked eggplant, baked over the open flame of the stove, and then mixed with black olives and peas. I’ve made it, not bad tasting. It is good for those who want to be vegetarian and get the consistency of meat.
Israeli food continues to evolve and change as the culture of the people who live in Israel continue to experiment in the kitchen.
Vocabulary of Israeli Food
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