Cooking magazines dish on new trend: labeling Arabic food Israeli!

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
on 66 Comments
Saveur
Saveur Magazine’s 100 January issue.

Saveur‘s January issue contains its “Saveur 100″ list of great finds from round the world and profiles two “Israeli” foods as hot new trends– honey and hummus. Who knew!

Billed as one of the most “seductive restaurants” in Philadelphia, Zahav makes the Saveur top 100 list and gets a good run for its hummus recipe.

“[P]ulsating with the energy of contemporary Israel’s vibrant dining culture,” the restaurant is owned by chef Michael Solomonov, who was born in Tel Aviv. Solomonov makes a hummus with “tahini and olive oil, [which] seems all the more velvety in contrast with the tangle of crisp hen of the woods mushrooms on top,” Gabriella Gershenson writes. 

Then there’s the jar of Kinneret Farms’ silan, or date honey, hailed as an infatuating historical delicacy. Senior editor Gershenson again:

On a recent trip to Israel, I became infatuated with silan, or date honey. The sweet cola-colored syrup seemed to be everywhere… Though it was new to me, it has been a Middle Eastern staple for millennia; in the Bible, mentions of honey refer not to bees’ honey, but to date honey.

BonAppetit
BonAppetit‘s “Israeli” shakshuka.

Exotifying Arabic cuisine and implanting “Israeli” origins makes another winter cameo in the December 2011 issue of Bon Appetit, with a recipe for shakshuka, a North African dish.  This poached eggs and chickpeas in a tomato sauce is raved as “popular in Israel…works for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.” 

Thanks to Bon Appetit and Saveur, foodies can co-opt Arabic culture “for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” 

 

66 Responses

  1. marc b.
    January 7, 2012, 11:52 am

    “[P]ulsating with the energy of contemporary Israel’s vibrant dining culture,” the restaurant is owned by chef Michael Solomonov, who was born in Tel Aviv. Solomonov makes a hummus with “tahini and olive oil . . .,

    and

    Though it was new to me, it has been a Middle Eastern staple for millennia; in the Bible, mentions of honey refer not to bees’ honey, but to date honey.

    vibrant, yet timeless. savory, yet sweet. authentic, yet derivative. oy gevalt. and, really, tahini and olive oil in hummous. (what no garlic and chick peas? but maybe that would be too audacious, even for an israeli culinary master.) what innovation! i’ll have to let them know about this breaking development next time i’m at my favorite lebanese market. i can’t wait to see their jaws drop at ‘my’ stroke of creative genius. of course i’ll give the state of israel credit. i wouldn’t want to wind up in court.

    wait, this just in: a lebanese chef has just developed a technique for making soup whereby he drops rolled balls of dough into broth to create what he calls ‘lebanese dumpling soup’, or ‘matzeh soup’ in arabic. amazing. can’t wait to try this new arab dish.

  2. mudder
    January 7, 2012, 11:53 am

    Reminds me of the time I went to an Israeli restaurant in Miami while on a business trip. The waiter, not knowing that I’m from Dearborn with a Palestinian-American wife, tried to explain to me what ‘shawarma’ is, as he pointed to what appeared to be a broiling gyro rotisserie.

    BTW, I cannot recommend highly enough the facebook page Palestine Food.

    • mudder
      January 7, 2012, 12:10 pm

      I went there in the mood for a corned beef on rye sandwich, but there was nothing like that on the menu.

    • RoHa
      January 7, 2012, 8:28 pm

      “a broiling gyro rotisserie. ”

      You mean a döner kebab rotisserie? Most “Greek” food is Turkish.

      (I’m not sure how much Turkish food is Arabic.)

  3. chocopie
    January 7, 2012, 11:53 am

    I have seen recipes for Israeli bread, too. You know, that Israeli bread with the pockets that people have been making and eating since forever in the Middle East. I’ve also seen recipes for Israeli salad (fattoush) and Israeli couscous (maftoul). At a friend’s daughter’s bat mitzvah, some obnoxious woman came over to our table and made off with our halwa, telling me and my Palestinian table-mate that we wouldn’t like it, it’s a Jewish thing (the entire meal was Palestinian). (How did she know we weren’t Jewish? I have no idea!)

    • kamanja
      January 8, 2012, 10:44 am

      If it’s halva she made off with she wasn’t exactly wrong. It’s Turkish and as we know, the Ottomans conquered parts of eastern Europe. E. European Jews whether ashkenazi or sfard were eating halva long before they came to Israel.

      • chocopie
        January 8, 2012, 6:54 pm

        Of course she was wrong. It’s always wrong to take what belongs to someone else. If people understood that, we wouldn’t need Mondoweiss. And no matter how long some Jews may have been eating what they call halva, does not make halwa “a Jewish thing” that other people couldn’t appreciate.

  4. pabelmont
    January 7, 2012, 12:03 pm

    “P]ulsating with the energy of contemporary Israel’s vibrant dining culture”. Gotta love the food-talk, with its (is it now mandatory?) use of the energy-word “vibrant”.

    However, that said, and not knocking foodies as a group or individuals (some of my best friends are definite foodies), I’m more interested in the new and “vibrant” BDS culture. They stay concerned with HUMan rights, not so much with HUMmus (delicious and non-Israeli as it may be).

  5. Scott
    January 7, 2012, 12:07 pm

    Great catch, Allison. I wonder if the cultural thievery is conscious and intentional or merely lazy.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      January 7, 2012, 12:59 pm

      “I wonder if the cultural thievery is conscious and intentional or merely lazy.”

      Editor Gabriella Gershenson is Jewish. I’m afraid this fact tilts the scales towards “intentional.”

      • Newclench
        January 7, 2012, 1:37 pm

        What a stupid comment. Like Jews can’t be as stupid and lazy as non-Jews. Hooey.

      • GalenSword
        January 7, 2012, 4:02 pm

        Jewish education encourages Jewish groupthink. Whether consciously or unconsciously Gershenson is serving as a Jewish Zionist gatekeeper/facilitator in English-language media.

        Any here is the JIDF on Zionist cultural theft: link to thejidf.org .

        Instead of stealing the cultural heritage of other peoples ethnic Ashkenazim should show some pride in their own: link to eaazi.blogspot.com

      • marc b.
        January 7, 2012, 4:09 pm

        What a stupid comment. Like Jews can’t be as stupid and lazy as non-Jews.

        oh, we know, newclench, we know.

      • thankgodimatheist
        January 7, 2012, 9:10 pm

        “Editor Gabriella Gershenson is Jewish. I’m afraid this fact tilts the scales towards “intentional.””

        Of course. Personally, I didn’t bother to check because something was telling me it was. It fits in a pattern..

        “What a stupid comment. Like Jews can’t be as stupid and lazy as non-Jews.”
        Yawn..

  6. Walid
    January 7, 2012, 12:23 pm

    “Solomonov makes a hummus with “tahini and olive oil”

    Is there any other way of making it? Unless Israelis have already invented instant hummmus in powder form where you just add water and stir.

    Hummus is now served in a seductive restaurant? Philadelphians are easily impressed.

  7. Taxi
    January 7, 2012, 1:25 pm

    My goodness do them Aparthied israelis do anything but invent invent invent?!!!! Do they ever sleep?!!!!! It’s amazing that with all that ehm stealing going on in Aparthied israel, they still got time to invent s’more a-may-zing dangs and bestow upon the needy world such important stuff as the Cherry Humus!

  8. Taxi
    January 7, 2012, 1:26 pm

    Invented right off the back of a truck!

  9. mudder
    January 7, 2012, 1:28 pm

    Gourmet magazine’s recent culinary tour of Jerusalem made no mention at all of Arabs, Palestinians, or Muslims (except for the reference “Christian quarter”). However they found this: Softly swirled hummus, its edges high like snowdrifts, comes crowned with olive oil, tahini, and pine nuts.

    To borrow a phrase from Ralph Ellison, the Palestinian has become the “Invisible Man”.

  10. Taxi
    January 7, 2012, 1:43 pm

    You’ve heard of ‘dirty pillow talk’, well the above reviews should really be called ‘dirty platter talk’. (LOL I’m now just thinking how I’d love a job as a dirty platter writer!)

    But seriously folks, I mean the insidious way the writers tried to mix sex with israel with food really takes the Apartheid PR biscuit!

    • mudder
      January 7, 2012, 2:33 pm

      How about a biscuit topped with milk and honey on one side and minced gravel on the other? That should be the national food of the land.

  11. Taxi
    January 7, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Personally, I hate israeli food, not because it’s israeli but because it tastes like Arab food made by foreign amateurs – knowaddamean?!

    • marc b.
      January 7, 2012, 4:16 pm

      not because it’s israeli but because it tastes like Arab food made by foreign amateurs

      and sadly, american jews seem to be letting their eastern european heritage wither on the vine. i gotta search even in nyc and montreal for a really good deli. (btw, if anyone is ever in worcester, ma, weintraubs make great white fish salad. but, alas, i have to settle for inferior lebanese baklava down the street, as none of the original israeli sweet can be found.)

      • Walid
        January 7, 2012, 5:27 pm

        “i gotta search even in nyc and montreal for a really good deli”

        In Montreal, you have Schwartz’s on St Lawrence just above R-Levesque Blvd that makes a smoked meat like it should be made and Dunn’s on Metcalf and Ste Catherine St that makes a fantastic Reuben. Both are authentically Jewish have been around for over 80 years.

      • marc b.
        January 7, 2012, 9:23 pm

        merci, mille fois, walid.

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2012, 8:30 am

        if you’re in canada, walid, i’m sure you’ve heard about the attacks on the mosque in gatineau, complete with star of david grafitti.

      • Walid
        January 8, 2012, 9:18 am

        You’re welcome, marc, for NYC, haven’t been there for a long time. The one with the reputation in my younger days although I never ate there, was Katz’ on East Houston. That’s where Sally had her orgasmic pastrami sandwich that you’re surely familiar with:

      • Walid
        January 8, 2012, 10:17 am

        Yes, I heard about Gatineau, and I think it stems from 2 problems. All these “I love Israel” manifestations by the Prime Minister aren’t helping Arab/Muslim and Jewish hot heads from across the river stay in line but it’s too early and too easy to blame this on the Jews. The other thing is that some of the freshly arrived Muslims and Jews have been making assholes of themselves with all their outrageously religious demands they are imposing on the normally easygoing Quebecers (separate gym classes and public pools for boys and girls, kosher and halal meat shops everywhere, asking the local Y to cover their windows to spare the eyes of young religion students etc) and pissing them off in the process. For all we know, the vandalism could have been done by irate French Quebecers to hit both hated birds with one stone. Time will tell who committed this ugly act.

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2012, 5:31 pm

        it’s too early and too easy to blame this on the Jews.

        agreed, walid, but not too early to blame it on the morally retarded. could just as easily be a run of the mill racist.

      • marc b.
        January 11, 2012, 12:48 pm

        just to stoke my paranoia, walid, a gaggle of israelis being booted from canada after being picked up in december in, amongst other places, gatineau, for immigration violations.

        link to ottawasun.com

        and this is being done on the double quick with few contesting the inevitable deportation orders. from the sun article:

        The second part of the hearing was a detention review where “they all clearly indicated that they wanted to leave as soon as possible…they were going to buy their plane tickets to leave Canada,” said [immigration spokesperson] Gervais.

      • Walid
        January 11, 2012, 1:46 pm

        Marc, the sweetest thing in your linked Ottawa Sun article was that the Israelis arrested had been working 13 malls in the Ottawa Capital District and Montreal selling Dead Sea products. The Stolen Beauty guys are going to be thrilled with this news even if not Ahava stuff.

        Looking up one of the Israeli products in the Ottawa bust story,”Heat in a click”, I came up on another Canadian article, from Halifax, about a week earlier than your Ottawa article with December arrests there too for illegally selling Israeli shit. Looks like these Israeli criminals have descended on Canada like a plague:

        Illegal Israeli Sales Agents (?) Arrested In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

        Posted on December 22, 2011

        Ten Israelis _eight men and two women_ were arrested Wednesday in a raid on a home in a quiet suburb and at three Halifax shopping malls in which they had set up sales booths. The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) says it arrested an eleventh person today (Thursday) outside a Halifax courthouse. He is identified as Iftash Jacob from Toronto who is considered as the “ringleader”.

        The CBSA claims Jacob brought foreign workers to Canada illegally and was working without permission himself. He was released from custody Thursday after surrendering his passport and posting a $7,500 bond.

        Questions: How did they get in Canada? I thought the security of the Canadian and USA borders were tightened and beefed up so that no illegal foreign nationals (potential terrorists) would be able to slip in. Are these illegal Israelis truly sales agents or Mossad agents? Will there be a thorough investigation into the background of these illegal Israelis? (pic of one of the Israelis arrested _Credit Metronews)

        If these were illegal Arabs/Muslims, I’m sure the media would be hyping them up as suspected terrorists! They would be interrogated and there would be an intensive investigation. No doubt some “terrorist plot” would be uncovered by the police and there would be a trial. I’m willing to bet nothing of that nature is going to happen to these illegal Jewish foreign nationals.

        Recall the 911 crime when 200 illegal Israelis were arrested in New York on Sept. 11, 2001. And, 5 were caught celebrating as the towers fell. They admitted to the fact that they were there to “document the event.”.. This leads one to conclude that they knew beforehand that the towers were going to be brought down.

        These 200 illegal Israelis were all sent back to the Zionist State and nothing more was mentioned of them.

        Back to the Halifax arrests. Eight of the 10 people arrested in Halifax yesterday by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have pleaded guilty to charges related to working illegally in Canada. They were fined $1,000 each .

        According to the CBSA, these Jewish foreign national were brought to Halifax to sell heating pads at kiosks called “Heat in a Click” __baby bottle and muscle warmers.

        It’s obvious there was no investigation into these illegal Jewish nationals. They were charged simply for “working in Canada without authorization”.

        The Crown prosecutor obviously didn’t know if these Israelis were “lawfully” in Canada or not.

        Here’s what Tim MacLaughlin, the Crown prosecutor said: “They were here lawfully, as visitors or students or whatever the case may be, but they were limited with what they could do, under that access to Canada and as a result, by doing that, they were charged.”

        These illegal Jewish sales agents (?) were advised by their Jewish Lawyer, Lee Cohen, to immediately plead guilty. They were fined $1000 each and it’s very likely they will be returned to the Zionist State without any fanfare, much like the 200 Israelis that were arrested on 911 and returned to the Zionist State.

        link to ronabbass.wordpress.com

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        January 8, 2012, 10:21 am

        “inferior lebanese baklava” … I will definitely report that comment ;-)

        That said, this stealing of Arab food recipe also occurs in the French Larousse of International recipe where hummus is also to be found under Israel …

        Marc, please give Tripoli’s baklava a try …

      • Taxi
        January 8, 2012, 12:10 pm

        OMG you haven’t lived till you’ve had baklawa made in the ancient city of Sidon, Lebanon! And maamool too mmmmmm (drool) maamool!

      • marc b.
        January 8, 2012, 5:34 pm

        OMG you haven’t lived till you’ve had baklawa made in the ancient city of Sidon, Lebanon!

        taxi, lebanon is on my short list, along with greece and turkey. a couple of months in the eastern med. we all need a fantasy or two to bang the rough edges off the mundane.

      • WeAreAllMadeOfStars
        January 8, 2012, 5:44 pm

        Taxi, I had to read your post twice since I never believed I would once disagree with you … but sadly this day has come. There’s no real challenge to Tripoli’s (Lebanon) sweet …

        OK I admit, I’m a Tripoli’s baklava fanboy but I swear next time I go South, I’ll taste those your recommend.

      • Taxi
        January 8, 2012, 11:01 pm

        WeAreAllMadeOfStars,

        We’re gonna be best friends for life – so what if my sweet tooth disagrees with your sweet tooth eh? I just stuck Sidon in there cuz that’s the last authentic Lebanese sweet I had and it was pretty woohoo supreme – but I have heard it often mentioned that Tripoli-Lebanon are masters of masters at sweet baking.

      • Walid
        January 9, 2012, 2:27 am

        “Marc, please give Tripoli’s baklava a try …”

        WAAMOS, even in Tripoli where there are dozens of pastry shops, only one (Abdul-Rahman al- Hallab)rises above the rest and where you have to take a number to be served. Same for Saida and same story for a few good pastry shops in Beirut. The difference between the good and bad depends on cleanliness, quality and freshness of products and mostly the quality of the clarified butter (ghee/samnaa) used that can leave you with a good taste in your mouth or a nasty aftertaste and nothing in between. While some are excellent, not all Lebanese pastries are necessarily good-tasting, especially when sold in the US since there’s probaby not such a big demand there and after the 2nd day of being baked, the taste starts going downhill.

      • thankgodimatheist
        January 8, 2012, 7:58 pm

        “inferior lebanese baklava”

        Based on how many tries, tasted in how many different places? Tripolitan Baklava is famous in the whole region, prepared the same traditional way as in Damascus, usually home to the best.

      • marc b.
        January 9, 2012, 2:07 pm

        “inferior lebanese baklava”

        Based on how many tries,

        that was my poor attempt at sarcasm.

      • Taxi
        January 9, 2012, 4:08 pm

        LOL marcb – you sure got a knack for getting yourself into honest trouble.

        Also, hey everyone, can we stop saying ‘baklava’? The Arabic word is Baklawa. They ain’t got no letter ‘V’ in the Arabic alphabet.

        And remember, you zios out there, it’s ‘humus’ – hhh, hhh humus – NOT kh kh khumus!

      • es1982
        January 9, 2012, 4:39 pm

        I know an Israeli whose family is Moroccan and pronounces it neither humus or khumus, but khomus. I have no way of knowing which pronounciation is correct. Maybe there are a few correct ones, because of the different dialects in Lebanon, Morocco, the Negev etc.?

      • Taxi
        January 10, 2012, 12:18 am

        Every Morrocan I know says ‘homus’ or ‘humus’ – but NEVER will you find an Arab saying ‘khkhkhkhkhomus’ or ‘khkhkhkhkhumus’!

    • Walid
      January 7, 2012, 4:41 pm

      “Personally, I hate israeli food, not because it’s israeli but because it tastes like Arab food made by foreign amateurs – knowaddamean?!”

      You’re probably talking about soggy pasty-tasting Israeli falafel. That’s because they use the powdered stuff to which they just add water and they reheat them in the microwave after having fried them. Don’t blame them, they don’t know better. Real falafel have to be made from scratch down to the 7 spices that have to be added and never never re-heated.

      • Taxi
        January 7, 2012, 11:17 pm

        Walid,
        I’m eaten at several israeli homes where I was served Baba Ghanoush without lemon! Yikes and yuck! LOL! So-called isreali cuisine dishes are always missing an ingredient or two from the original.

        Hands down, in the mideast, Lebanese food is the most superior in inventive variety, flavors and health value. I actually years ago read a (translated) essay by the Japanese food philosopher, George Ohsawa, who reckoned the Japanese and Lebanese cuisines are the most supreme in health value in the whole world, also the most splendid to the “eye of the stomach”.

  12. powzon
    January 7, 2012, 1:48 pm

    “in the Bible, mentions of honey refer not to bees’ honey, but to date honey.”

    Maybe in some places. But both Samson and John the Baptist ate wild honey, whereas date syrup is produced by people. And there’s archaeological evidence of bee-keeping in Canaan from long before Abraham.

    The biblical Hebrew for honey, something like ‘debesh’, seems to means something syrupy and sticky. But it’s used for what Samson eats from the body of the lion, which had bees swarming in it. Likewise, many other instances of the word in the Old Testament are modified by terms which in context indicate honey from a honeycomb.

    The New Testament Greek word for honey seems to be literal; anyone who knows Romance languages would probably recognise it, ‘meli’.

    Another quick-study journalist helps to dumb things down?

    • marc b.
      January 7, 2012, 4:18 pm

      you’re missing the important bit, though: we are all eating spurious, pagan honey while the israelis produce, literally, the nectar of the god[].

  13. Pamela Olson
    January 7, 2012, 3:11 pm

    I posted this comment on the Bon Appetit page. No bets on how long it’ll stay up:

    “This recipe looks great, but it’s hardly an Israeli food. It’s a North African dish that I’ve mostly had cooked by Bedouins. Israelis started cooking this dish after it was brought into the Jewish sphere of the country by Tunisian Jews. (Palestinians and Bedouin have been cooking it for centuries.)

    For the record, hummus, felafel, shawarma, cous cous, and fattoush (sometimes bizarrely called “Israeli salad”) are not Israeli foods either. These foods have been prepared by Arabs for centuries before Israel ever existed.

    It’s bad enough that Israelis colonize Palestinian land. Please don’t help them co-opt the culture and cuisine, too. It’s dishonest and quite frankly offensive to many people whose land and homes were stolen in the 20th century and continue to be stolen and/or destroyed in the 21st.”

    • pjdude
      January 9, 2012, 4:24 am

      why wouldn’t Israel steal their food they steal everything else. most of Israel’s accomplishments happened because they are stolen from others or backed finicially by others. Israel without thedft and backers probobly would have a twentieth of the “accomplishments” they do

  14. upsidedownism
    January 7, 2012, 3:24 pm

    As an antidote to this noxious issue of Saveur, check out the November/December 2011 of Saudi Aramco world, “Gaza’s Food Heritage”. Be warned: will make you both angry about the half century of occupation of Palestine and makes you hungry too!
    http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201106/

  15. justicewillprevail
    January 7, 2012, 4:03 pm

    It is funny the knots Israel’s fictional stories about itself tie it up in. They have to co-opt the culture which they affect they are not part of, then relabel it as if they have dreamed it up out of nowhere. They can’t admit they are part of the Middle East in no way different to the others who have collectively evolved a rich culture. Trying to claim a separate status results in these absurdities, which is no different to the self-denial they preach about their own history, and the substitution of it with an ersatz, politically driven version, a theme park Israel built over the ruins of a real culture, with the vestiges of that culture renamed and relabelled to fit the Hollycaust version. Such is the absurdity of their stance, that it extends through everything, in an old Soviet style attempt to rewrite history and its imagery. It makes me laugh every time I see a news bulletin and look at the symbol for Jerusalem behind the newsreader: the dome of the Al Aqsa Mosque. Priceless.

  16. piotr
    January 7, 2012, 5:33 pm

    I never got such an angry response in talk-backs as when I made a comparison between Lebanon and Israel. Both are “imperfect democracies”, with marriages administered only within confessional communities and subject of respective religious laws, with makes it a mixture of democracy and “multi-theocracy”, shabby treatment for non-citizens — one may dispute where it is shabbier. An average Arab inhabitant has more freedoms and economic opportunities in Lebanon.

    And then I recalled “Sabra Cafe” in Montreal — it is Lebanese.

    Now, given that ingredients existed since the Neolitic revolution, which means from BBW (Before Beginning of the World in Jewish calendar), quite posibly Jews had similar dishes before diasporah. Still, it kind of sounds like classic American dishes, Polska Kielbasa and Pierogies. Polska Kielbasa resembles the cheapest kind of sausage that is available in Poland, and Pierogies — the outer shape is quite similar to pierogi (which is a plural form in Polish, but Poles do the same to English words, an enterprise can operate with byznesplanem or without byznesplanu, but let us not talk about byznesplanach here).

  17. irena
    January 7, 2012, 6:14 pm

    Even an Israeli food writer, Gil Hovav, knows it is Arab cuisine (link to news.bbc.co.uk)

    Stefan Gates – So, is there such a thing as, as Jewish food?
    Gil Hovav – You’ll get Iraqi food, Egyptian food, Syrian food, Yemeni food, these are all, Jews came from these countries to Israel and they brought their food with them. Then you have the Ashkenazi food or East European food like Poland, Germany, Hungary etcetera and Ashkenazi Jews, especially Polish Jews will go to that little swimming pool over there and buy live carp to make gefilte fish. These terrible ray fish bones that they eat in spring in Passover.

    Gil Hovav – Almost everything. You can even find non-kosher food in this market although it’s mainly kosher. You know, the minute you introduce a non-kosher item to a store it becomes non- kosher. Since the big Russian immigration, you can even find pork and seafood in this market.
    Stephen Gates – Was that quite a shocking shift when, when you could suddenly start buying pork.
    Gil Hovav – It was a definite no-no before.
    Stephen Gates – Are traditional Jews offended by the fact that you can buy pork here?
    Gil Hovav – Well what they would do is very politely burn the store and they do it, you know, every once in a while. But if the store survives then you can find pork in it.

    Stephen Gates – In the divide between Palestinians and Israelis even simple humous has become political because both sides claim it as their own.
    Stephen Gates – But is humous originally Jewish or, or Arabic?
    Of course it’s Arabic. Humous is Arabic. Falafel, our national dish, our national Israeli dish, is completely Arabic and this salad that we call an Israeli Salad, actually it’s an Arab salad, Palestinian salad. So, we sort of robbed them of everything.

  18. braciole
    January 7, 2012, 8:31 pm

    It’s not like this is the first time Saveur have done this. For example, from the October 2009 article, Israeli Condiments:

    Tangy, spicy, and salty condiments are central to many classic Israeli dishes. Here are four of our favorites.

    Schug is a piquant cilantro–chile paste that’s often served atop falafel sandwiches and sometimes added to hummus.

    Originally an Yemeni condiment.

    Amba, a bright, zesty sauce of green mango that’s been pickled with a variety of spices, is a popular topping for grilled meats.

    Originally an Iraqi and Indian condiment.

    Shipka peppers are mild green chiles preserved in brine. They give heat and crunch to dishes like the Jerusalem mixed grill on page 94.

    Shipka peppers originated in Bulgaria. Maybe the Israelis will now claim Bulgaria as part of the Jewish homeland! Perhaps that’s why Bulgaria abstained in the recent Palestine vote at the UN.

    Tahini is a creamy, nutty-tasting paste made from crushed sesame seeds; it is a key ingredient in our hummus.

    Greek, Turkish and Arab condiment, although I’m sure a few Ashkenazim will claim a central European origin!
    BTW, why are non-Jewish Americans increasingly buying kosher food? Let’s face with modern refrigeration, kosher is a scam to allow rabbis to collect a decent wage.
    And it’s not just Saveur that allows Israelis to misappropriate things – for example, from a press release from the WSJ’s Marketwatch website:

    The scroll contains text from Deuteronomy 5 and is among the trove of ancient writings known as the Dead Sea Scrolls, a group of approximately 900 manuscripts discovered in a series of caves in the Judean desert the late 1940s and 1950s. The scrolls were initially found by Bedouin shepherds near the Dead Sea in Israel and are believed to date from around 250 BCE to 68 CE.

    Actually, they were discovered in the West Bank and stolen by the Israelis. Funny how there are continuing demands for the restitution of Jewish property stolen by the Nazis and others, yet the Israelis are not prepared to restore items they have stolen from other parties.

    • kamanja
      January 8, 2012, 11:03 am

      Know what’s called English tea the world over? The kind made with milk? It’s Indian.

      • piotr
        January 9, 2012, 10:23 am

        English tea has similar ingredients as Indian tea but is prepared very differently. They never boil the tea, and they never add cardamon. Also, the British got the idea of drinking tea from Chinese, and wanted to improve the balance of trade. The first idea was to pay for Chinese tea with Indian opium, the second: to grow tea in India.

        Perhaps Indian got the idea of drinking tea independently, as the plant grew in the wild both in south China and in Assam.

  19. dumvitaestspesest
    January 7, 2012, 9:59 pm

    How about hummus sprinkled with white phosphorus and decorated with burnt olive leaves??

    • Sumud
      January 8, 2012, 5:53 am

      You’re one the right track, I suggest the hummus be made with tear-gas infused Palestinian olive oil for that genuine Israeli touch though…

      • dumvitaestspesest
        January 8, 2012, 9:43 am

        Yeap, and served in an original tear-gas canister.

  20. VR
    January 7, 2012, 10:35 pm

    There are two things this deception relies upon, the absolute ignorance of Arabic culture – the Israelis feel so confident about the ignorance of the general public they can call all of this cuisine they’re own (through the purposeful absence of any teaching regarding the culture, and vilification of the people for other purposes). Second, theft of indigenous ways and know how has been going on for thousands of years, but is not known to many (a highly honed practice that has been buried for many years until it is presumed to be the property of the thieves, people and nation(s) ) – in the sense of settler colonial state activity as well as common practice among many empires. You can see this in what is commonly called Renaissance literature, scientific discovery of the “enlightenment” period, much is merely the theft of conquered and subjugated people or even unknown people, who are summarily pronounced “barbarians.”

    The Israelis fancy themselves the heirs of such a defunct tradition of manufactured greatness and renown – which is nothing but plain theft. What is so repugnant about these particular instances is that they try to copy these forms of thievery in the 21st century – where some of us can blow the whistle, and the only slur that can be thrown at us is that we are either self-hating or antisemitic.

  21. MLE
    January 7, 2012, 11:32 pm

    It reminds me of the minstrel shows back in the 19th and 20th century when white people would dress up in blackface and imitate black people. Besides the extremely racist and degrading jokes, the white people would try to imitate the way black people sang and danced, because it was remarkably entertaining. However talented and popular the white entertainers were, they eventually had to let the black people into the industry as well, because they did it so much better.

  22. yourstruly
    January 8, 2012, 10:50 am

    labeling arabic food israeli is part of the settler entity’s cultural genocide. does this mean that once there’s justice for palestine, the palestinians will label matza ball soup arabic? i predict no.

  23. kamanja
    January 8, 2012, 11:06 am

    Lucky for this brilliant theory that there was a Gershwin to write music for some of them.

  24. es1982
    January 8, 2012, 8:14 pm

    I know that a lot of what Israelis consider their own isn’t originally Israeli, like Israeli salad (which Israelis often actually call “Arab salad”), falafel, couscous, hummus, etc., but I’m surprised about the so-called “Israeli couscous” (which Israelis call “ptitim”, literally meaning flakes). I was sure that was an Israeli invention.

    At least tell me please that we Israelis really did invent Bamba and Bisli!

    • GalenSword
      January 9, 2012, 5:38 am

      The wiki page describes ptitim as an Israeli invention, but it is so similar to a form of (not specifically Jewish) Italian pasta that I have to wonder whether it was not so much invented as borrowed.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      Not only would Italian Jews have brought such pasta to Stolen Palestine (the so-called [pre-1967] State of Israel), but Italian converts to Judaism would have done so as well.

      link to forward.com

  25. piotr
    January 9, 2012, 10:36 am

    If this were the worst atrocity committed on the Arab people, we would live in a beautiful world. Decent cookbook actually tell something about history of dishes. But lifestyle magazine are actually not meant to be the source of most accurate information. From context, “authentic cousine” in the title of “Saveur” means that it describes dishes that were actually seen somewhere, preferably in a restaurant. And hopefully made from somewhat primary ingredients (e.g. it would exclude latkes made of freeze dried potato flakes).

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