Shalom Life | November 18, 2014

Ten Extraordinary Tastes from Israel

Try the best baklava, chocolate, marzipan, halva, challah, bourekas and other mouthwatering treats that Israel has to offer

By: Viva Sarah Press

Published: November 7th, 2014 in News » Israel

Taste buds must work overtime in Israel thanks to the countless and diverse mouthwatering morsels waiting to be eaten here.

“When you’re eating in Israel, all your senses are involved. You can smell it and see it being made. In Western countries, almost everything is pre-packaged so you don’t get to see or smell it. Food here really overwhelms the senses, but in a great way,” says Inbal Baum, culinary tour guide from Delicious Israel.

Baum helped ISRAEL21c create this list of 10 extraordinary dishes you need to try:

1. Zalatimo’s mutabak


Photo of Zalatimos by Emily Livingstone-Parker/Touring with Madeleine blog

Dozens of Israeli bakeries boast the best baklava. But Zalatimo’s Bakery in the Old City of Jerusalem, close to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, opened in 1860 and is the oldest operating baklava bakery in the world. It is hailed by everyone from man-on-the-street to culinary greats as “the” place to bite into a warm, hand-thrown wad of filo dough soaked in sugar syrup.

Zalatimo calls its pastries “mutabak” but everyone else calls them Zalatimos. The BBC program Jerusalem On a Plate featured a segment on London-based Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi all but fainting from pleasure with each mouthful of the goat’s-cheese-and-clarified-butter-filled variety.

2. Benny’s Soda


Employee Neta Maoz at Benny’s Soda. Photo by Inbal Baum

At Benny’s Soda (Gazoz, in Hebrew) at 41 Levinsky Street in Tel Aviv, the artisanal soda-shop wizard Benny Briga uses all-natural flavors to create original flavored bubbly drinks.

This thirst-quenching master adds wedges of fruits (lemon, pomegranate, guava), herbs (lavender, lemongrass, lemon verbena) and roots (ginger) to fizzy non-alcoholic cocktails. “It’s something really special,” Baum tells ISRAEL21c.

3. Ika’s Chocolate


Ika Chocolate, Tel Aviv

Judges at the 2012 International Chocolate Awards competition swooned over a lemon praline handcrafted by Tel Aviv chocolatier Ika Cohen. She returned to the Italian contest with a gold medal-winning Za’atar Ganache in 2014.

Ika continues to appear on international “’best chocolate shops” lists as well. A visit to her French-style chocolate boutique in Tel Aviv is a wise choice for any chocolate fan.

To continue reading, click here

Via ISRAEL21c

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