Sunday, April 20, 2008

Markets of Israel

Markets in both Israel and Palestine were incredible. Piles of seasonal produce in a country that has incredible bounty - in fact, the vegetables I bought at Monoprix this week when I returned to Paris tanned and lazy, were all imported from Israel.

Above you can see in the main market in Jerusalem a typical sight of hot peppers and of course some radishes (masquerading as beets, I know) and even some corn that for some reason was ubiquitous across the country.

In Jerusalem, we visited as the entire city was picking up their food for Shabbat -rugelach, challah, whole heads of fresh spring garlic, raw almonds piled up next to glowing strawberries.

Jerusalem also has a souk that we frequented daily where I bought my first halva of the trip and tip-toed over fish juice on the Via Dolorosa.

In Tel Aviv the market was more commercial - lots of things manufactured in China but in between an old man selling 8 kinds of green beans: fava, haricort vert, peas, striped, and others I had never seen before.

Hebron had an intense market - dried herbs in piles and sacks, some even including mashed up cigarettes. On a restaurant-sized grill, a man fried up small pancakes that looked somewhere between a crepe and injera, that you wrap up with filling (we moved too quickly to try some). In Hebron we had tea brewed with sage and coffee with cardamon before heading back out among sesame-speckled bread products of all shapes and shades of yellow.

I have to say that while they had their share of year-round products, these places had a higher percentage of seasonal produce that I see around the corner at one of Paris' most famous markets. The piles of onions and garlic alone were enough to make you want to go home and put a sautee pan on the stove with some oil and just cook whatever was available - which is what many of the restaurants we went to did. More on that in a bit ...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

are we really having a global food crisis?