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

Israel/PalestineMiddle East
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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‘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.” 


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