7 Trending Jewish Foods for Israel’s Independence Day

74 years old and still totally hip.

As the State of Israel approaches its 74and On Independence Day (Yom Haatsmaut), we look at the different food cultures that have come together to shape modern Israeli cuisine.

As a small, young country inhabited by Jews who have escaped anti-Semitism from all over the world, Israel’s melting pot culture is a big part of what makes the country uniquely charming. Over the centuries, Diaspora Jews living in different countries have adapted local food cultures to suit their dietary needs and Jewish culture. Later, each group of Jewish refugees who immigrated to the State of Israel brought with them their own food culture.

What about Jews and food?

You know the old joke that sums up all Jewish holidays – “They tried to kill us, we survived, let’s eat”?

It’s funny, and true. However, the “let’s eat” part doesn’t just encapsulate Jewish holidays, it encapsulates daily life in the Jewish state. Food is an integral part of life and culture in Israel.

As a country populated by people from all over the world, Israel has absorbed and adopted different ethnic foods.

Members of each ethnic group take pride in sharing their unique food culture, whether by introducing others to their foods in their homes, at community potlucks where everyone brings a representative ethnic dish, or by opening restaurants that celebrate the culture. food specific to their country of origin.

Israel’s Patchwork Food Culture

The food culture in Israel is changing and people are getting to know different types of food and combining them to form a new modern Israeli cuisine.

These days you’ll find Sephardic Jews eating gefilte fish and Ashkenazim who won’t serve a meal without a pot of shug (a popular spicy Yemeni sauce) on the table. The food culture in Israel is changing and people are getting to know different types of food and combining them to form a new modern Israeli cuisine.

Let’s look at what foods are popular and trendy in Israel today:

1. Is it Tahini or Techina?

Whatever you call it, Techina is one of the most popular foods in Israel. Originally from the Middle East, Techina is spreading to Western countries right now. This classic crushed sesame seed paste is extremely diverse. Made from 100% sesame seeds, it can be eaten as is, much like natural peanut butter, mixed into salad dressings, used as a key ingredient in hummus, and even used to make cookies. The most common version of tahini is said to be a sauce made from a mixture of raw tahini with lemon and water that you will find at all falafel and shawarma stands in Israel. Get our simple tahini sauce recipe.

2. Culinary tours of Cholen

Cholent is the traditional Ashkenazi meat stew that many Jews serve for lunch on Shabbat. Learn more about Ccholent get recipes here. Did you know cholent tours are a thing? Thursday nights in Bnei Brak (a very religious Ashkenazi neighborhood) are cholent nights. You can book a walking tour of the city, which includes a stop at one of the many “cholenterias” to sample this traditional Jewish stew. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up a sweet and peppery Jerusalem Kugel.

3. Taste Khachapuri

Source: JamieGeller.com

Khachapuri is a traditional Georgian boat-shaped bread that is baked with different fillings, the most popular in Israel is a cheese filling with a cooked egg on top. If you haven’t tried Khachapuri yet, stop by “Khachapuri” for a treat the next time you’re at Mahane Yehuda Market. Get a recipe for Khachapuri here.

4. Jachnun and Malawach and Kubaneh, Oh my God!

These Yemeni dishes have been Israeli favorites for years. You can’t go very far without seeing signs advertising fresh homemade Janchnun. Dough lovers will not be able to get tired of these dishes.

Jachnun and Malawach are served with tomato sauce, boiled eggs and of course a spicy Yemeni schug sauce. You can find both in the frozen section of most Middle Eastern or Jewish markets.

Kubaneh is your new favorite bread that you won’t want to stop on, but you will have to make it yourself.

Learn more about Sephardic breads here.

5. Tunisian Brik

Brik is the North African version of Turkish borek, which you will find in every bakery in Israel. Brik is filo pastry, usually stuffed with eggs and herbs, then fried. Brik is a street food sold in small stalls. Get a Tunisian Brik recipe here.

6. Red Kubbeh Soup – an Iraqi Jewish tradition

Be warned! This Iraqi comfort food can be addictive. Imagine this – a sweet and tangy beetroot red soup filled with semolina dumplings stuffed with spicy Middle Eastern style beef. If you haven’t tasted this delicacy yet, try it on your next visit to Mahane Yehuda Market, or Do it yourself.

7. Injera – An Ethiopian Experience

Ethiopian food culture is starting to catch on in Israel, with new restaurants popping up everywhere. Injera is a sour and spongy fermented pancake-like flatbread that is a staple in most Ethiopian homes.

You eat the injera with your hands, using it to scoop up the delicious selection of stews that come with it.

Happy Independence Day

Today is a time to be grateful. So before you fire up the grills and pull out the hummus, remember to celebrate the wonderful food culture that all the different Jewish communities around the world have brought with them to the State of Israel.

Here comes the next 74 years…and beyond.

Separate page for this recipe which you can then link to in this article above

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