Have you met the quince? You might have come across it in a market and passed it by. It’s yellow, but not yielding like an apple. It looks like a bumpy pear. Raw, it’s inedible. What do you do with it? The simple answer is: cook it. Quinces under heat become sweet and tender, with […]
What’s vegewarian, anyway? Answer: it’s selecting sustainable dishes based on non-meat foods at least once weekly. Halloumi is said to have originated long ago in Cyprus. Cheesemakers spread the Halloumi technique abroad of compacting milk fresh curds and curing them in brine, and now many Middle Eastern countries produce the cheese. It may be made […]
The best aromatics appear in Middle Eastern markets after the first rains. Agricultural wisdom in the Middle East says that olives and citrus fruit are best harvested after it’s rained. Olive season is just about over, although if you’re lucky you can still find some raw to pickle at home. But citrus have responded to […]
Sderot’s dusty streets and woeful aspect come naturally after enduring years of rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. In this Western Negev town in Israel, all bus stops are small bomb shelters. A traffic roundabout represents the town center, with a pizzeria, a stationary store, and some tired-looking clothing shops around it. The young, […]
Don’t have a garden? You can still own a fruiting olive tree, grown in a container. A sunny balcony and the right climate are the essential things; that, and time.
A liquid formula that goes down easy and provides you enough nutrients for the day. Would you ever start eating soylent?
I stood in a golden wheat field some five miles north of Acre in Israel. Paul Nirens of the Galileat organization had arranged a demonstration with a local farmer, to show us how the Druze traditionally roast green wheat for freekeh.
Those jars and honey bears full of golden liquid are mostly not honey at all. It’s just syrup that tastes something like the real thing.
In the Galilee’s Arab, Jewish, and Druze communities, life has a rural rhythm, slower than in big towns. You can tell that people like to stop and sniff the roses, as each garden displays roses and other lovingly tended fragrant bushes. And the old foodways are still alive in the Galilee, preserved by middle-aged housewives.
It looks like aliens took over the broccoli patch, doesn’t it? Romanesco broccoli is a unique vegetable that looks like a cauliflower gone crazy but has an intense broccoli flavor. It was first grown in Italy and is now available in more European countries, the US, and in Israel.
It’s easy to make your own butter. All it takes is double cream and some salt. The most basic equipment will do: a mixer, a pair of sturdy wooden spoons, some cheesecloth or a sieve, and a couple of bowls.
Ah…a cold glass of orange juice, first thing in the morning. Gives you energy, vitamin C and zest to start the day. Right? Is that glass of juice really good for you?
The Jewish holiday of Purim begins this coming Saturday night, the 15th of March, and continues through Sunday. In Jerusalem and other ancient walled cities, the holiday is called Shushan Purim and occurs on Sunday night, the 16th, through Monday.
Nomads of the Caucasus Mountains attribute their long, vigorous lives to a natural diet, plenty of outdoor exercise – and kefir. Kefir is fermented milk, something like yogurt. Its taste ranges from mildly sour to cheeselike, depending on how long the milk ferments. It has lots of probiotics and proven anti-bacterial power.
There are usually no great surprises at the major wine festivals, which are held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. You tend to bump into the same winemakers over and over again. Some stands represent not wineries, but fruit-based liqueurs, or beer. At the Wine Jerusalem festival held last week, I was surprised to find a new twist […]
It’s still chilly in the Middle East – still the season for comfort food. Try driving the cold away with msemmen, a flexible, square-shaped skillet cake (the best of Middle East and North African pancakes!), easily pulled apart into layers so you can stuff it. Msemmen is similar to the Emirati Khameer bread (recipe here), […]
There’s a huge new movement in Israel. Not politics. Food. Specifically, veganism. Of a country totalling eight million people, an estimated 200,000 are now declared vegans (see Karin’s post about the growing movement here). That’s roughly 2.5 percent of the population.
Why would anyone want to eat plants that sting? And raw nettles do sting. But nettles are a tasty, nutrient-dense food. People have been eating them since antiquity, and probably since pre-history. Their easily-metabolized iron content is so high that nettles tea is a natural remedy for anemia.
I’ve been cooking nonstop out of Nawal Nasrallah’s majestic cookbook, Delights From The Garden of Eden. And my family loves it, because every recipe yields a delicious dish. Like this one.
When I think of a meal based on a light protein – something quick to make and yet satisfying – I think of fish. Have you ever considered fish luxuriously drizzled with tahini?
See the images: These very rare textiles were found in the Wadi Murabba’at caves south of Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Why is this ancient find so exciting for the Jews?
For more than 3000 years, Jews dreamed of recovering a lost blue dye called techelet. Using clues laid down over 100 years ago by one rabbi in Poland, and another in Israel, Ptil Techelet, the Association for the Promotion and Distribution of Tekhelet, has succeeded in tracking down the dye’s source and reviving it.
Frankly, we’re hoping that the above image of holiday shoppers makes you a tad uncomfortable. To enjoy holidays as greenly as possible, buy or make meaningful gifts that add to joy, not more trash to landfills. Here are 10 ways you can reduce the inevitable waste that accumulates after the last gifts are unwrapped.
One advantage of eating vegan is that you probably have all ingredients for home-cooked meals in your pantry, all the time. Another advantage, especially in freezing winter times like now, is how filling and warming vegan foods are, based as they are on grains, like lupini beans, which deserve to be better known, and lots […]
Want to get close to Iraqi food traditions and culture? This cook book is for you. Lyrical memoirs of Nawal Nasrallah’s childhood in Iraq, and the place that food had in that culture, drift through the pages, pausing for sidebars that offer tidbits like four paragraphs on ancient wives in ancient kitchens. Or samples from a […]