Traditional Israeli dishes

The basis of the national Israeli cuisine is fresh vegetables in various variations and combinations, meat and fish dishes. Jewish cuisine is very heterogeneous, because many Israeli dishes were brought with them by migrants from Europe and other countries. The proximity to the Arabs also affected the traditional cuisine of Israel.

Israel has a huge culture of baking and sweets that comes from family homemade recipes. Sweets, once the secret of Jewish grandmothers, can now be tasted by anyone.

Of course, Israeli restaurants follow the rule of kosher food. Meat and milk are stored and cooked only separately, fish is eaten exclusively by those species that have scales. Pork is not to be eaten. Of course, these bans do not apply to tourists, but most often you simply will not find non-kosher products in restaurants. Israeli drinks are also treated as kosher and non-kosher. It concerns, first of all, wine. And the guarantee of kosher is the correct collection and processing of grapes.

Traditional Israeli food

Hummus. A popular Israeli appetizer made from mashed mutton peas with garlic and lemon juice.

Falafel. Pea and bean balls. This dish is served, most often, along with hummus, and you can buy it right on the streets.

Baba Hanush. This is not a separate dish, but a popular fried eggplant sauce. “Baba Ganush” is prepared with the addition of sesame paste “Tahini”, garlic or onion, herbs and spices.

Meze. This is the common name for many types of snacks made from fresh and cooked vegetables. They are used to complement meat dishes.

Shakshuka. Juicy scrambled eggs fried in tomato sauce with various ingredients and seasoned with herbs. The dish is served in a cast-iron skillet with bread, pieces of which replace a spoon.

Soups. Chicken soup, lentil soup and many other recipes, old and new.

Harira. A classic Moroccan Jewish spicy soup made with lamb or chicken, chickpeas, lentils and rice.

Meorav Jerusalem. Jerusalem meat dish made from 4 parts of chicken meat: chicken liver, heart, navel and breast. Roasts are served in bread bowls called piitah.
Israeli national cuisine – features
The national cuisine of Israel is in many ways reminiscent of the Mediterranean. The diet is dominated by fresh vegetables, various legumes, fish, fruits. At the same time, local residents divide the national dishes of Israeli cuisine into the following groups:

  • Sephardic;
  • Ashkenazi.

Almost half of the population is Ashkenazim, descendants of immigrants from Central Europe. Settlers from the Iberian Peninsula, France, Italy, Greece, and Turkey are called Sephardim. Culinary traditions were formed depending on the geographical location and climatic features. Ashkenazi prefer chicken broth, tsimes, forshmak, liver pate. Sephardim prefer cereals, fresh vegetables, herbs, fruits.

Kosher food

The main feature of national dishes and cuisine in general is kosher. The fact is that religion is respected in Israel, so shops and restaurants strictly adhere to the rules specified in the national code of laws of the Halakha, based on the commandments of the Torah. A set of rules that explains what food you can eat and what you can’t eat is kashrut. In accordance with a religious document, it is allowed to eat meat exclusively from animals that eat plant foods and at the same time are artiodactyls – cows, goats, sheep. As for poultry meat, in Israeli cuisine there are dishes from ducks, geese, chickens.

Pig meat is not allowed

Pig and rabbit meat is considered unacceptable for consumption. Also on the list of prohibited foods are fish and marine life that do not have scales and / or fins – shrimps and lobsters, octopuses, oysters, etc.

In addition, in Israel it is not customary to eat meat and fish dishes together with dairy dishes. For example, a restaurant will never serve a meat dish with cheese or cream sauce.