Pressure Cooker or Melting Pot?
How Disparate Flavors and Cultures have blended into a Distinctively Israeli Cuisine
The Melting Pot:
“In less than thirty years Israeli society has graduated from Spartan austerity to a true gastronomic haven.” Despite having what is considered one of the most homogenous populations in the world (in terms of religion), Israel possesses one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse societies on the planet — a melting pot. The same is true with its cuisine, which encompasses an endless expanse of culinary possibilities and inspiration. So what is modern Israeli cuisine? This research paper will not only answer that question but it will also analyze how food reflects Israeli identity and culture — first surveying the vastness of Israel’s culinary roots and its evolution into a worldwide brand, then similarly exploring the progression of the Israeli identity — which, like Israeli fare, began as simple and local but has evolved into a more confident, graceful, and international persona. Modern Israeli Cuisine is a creative fusion style, combining elements from the Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa that satisfies innovative, globally minded Israelis
Rebecca Torstrick, professor of sociology and anthropology at Indiana University-South Bend, asserts that, cuisine “is a fundamental marker that serves to differentiate one ethnic group from another. In Israel, the sheer variety of foods is dazzling.” This text will argue that Israel is indeed one of the most heterogeneous countries in the world, using cuisine as its case study. With so many disparate people, the task of creating a national cuisine and identity is daunting, running the risk of forming a “pressure cooker” — a frictional society amongst the Jews. And while histories, skin color, financial status, politics, or customs might vary, it is this diversity that characterizes Israeli food, bonding the population. Coinciding with the study of Israeli gastronomy will be a parallel discussion of Israeli identity, tracing the Israeli mindset from an austere, narrow Middle Eastern outlook espoused by early 20th century Zionists up through the diverse, sophisticated, open-minded perspective of today.
The sources utilized in my research are from diverse perspectives and disciplines. They involve history and anthropology in addition to culinary arts. The analyses are primarily taken from books but also include “in print” and online articles. Additionally, I incorporate my personal experience gained from fieldwork at a local Philadelphia restaurant, Zahav.
This research is divided into three phases or courses. After describing the context for modern-day Israel (a brief history of Zionism, the founding of the State of Israel, and an overview of immigration to the land), the basic laws of Jewish dietary law, Kashrut, will be enumerated. At that point, we delve into Phase 1, which includes the Zionist settlement in Palestine, where they drove agriculture and a corresponding “Sabra” as tenants of future statehood. The standard Zionist culinary background will be explained. In Phase two, we trace the initially tension-filled convergence of various immigrant groups, which caused the breakdown of the “Sabra”. These new peoples include those from the broader Middle East, Mediterranean, and North Africa. How these culinary traditions and identities have fused will be the “meat” of the essay. Finally during Phase 3, we discover the “New Israeli Cuisine” of the 21st century: originally with 1980s experimentation at Israeli restaurants, racing toward an explosion of Israeli food culture — refined cookbooks and eateries around the world spreading this fusion style with a global diner.
The story of Israel can be traced back thousands of years, but the modern movement for a Jewish state was born in the late 19th century with the dream of Theodore Herzl, a Viennese Jewish journalist. The non-religious Herzl was disgusted with rampant European anti-Semitism, particularly after the Dreyfus affair. The effort to make Herzl’s vision a reality is known as Zionism. European Zionists in the late 1800s and early 1900s began to raise money and immigrate to the initially Ottoman-occupied, and then British mandated Palestine. Driven out by constant Russian Pogroms and later by the German Holocaust and World War II, Eastern European Jews immigrated legally and illegally by the hundreds of thousands to Israel in a series of Aliyot.. Although many arrived in Palestine by necessity, plenty were fueled by Zionist and Socialist ideals. In 1947, The United Nations narrowly approved a partition plan to grant Jews and Palestinians their own states, but surrounding Arab countries immediately attacked a fledgling Israel in opposition. By this time, 480,000 Jews (90% from Europe) had settled in Israel. In May of 1948, Israel officially declared its independence and miraculously held off its aggressors. Israel has emerged as “the only place in the world where an authentic Jewish culture can flourish… [It is the] ancestral homeland for (the Jewish people), who have been humiliated, defeated, massacred, and scattered…” The 1950 Law of Return, which granted all Jews the automatic right to citizenship, brought 687,000 newcomers to the state, including groups from Iraq, Libya, and Yemen. During the 1950s and 60s, large populations from Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt arrived. Following the Collapse of the Soviet Union (1991–1996), 700,000 Jews came to Israel. Due to the 1984 Operation Moses and 1991 Operation Solomon, 22,000 Ethiopian Jews settled in Israel.
Course 1 Hors d’oeuvres: Jewish Food, Ashkenazim, and the Sabra
“Jewish Food” as we know it bares no resemblance to the diet of ancient Canaanites and Israelites, which was challenged by periodic famines and harsh growing conditions. An ancient Israelite likely dined on the floor around communal platters, using his fingers as utensils, consuming grains, legumes, vegetables and herbs, dairy, fruits, and the all-important olive oil. They utilized grains to make flatbreads, porridges, etc. and harnessed sweetness from fruits by making wine from grapes and honey from pomegranates, figs, dates, pears, quince, and apricot. When people refer to Jewish Food, they typically mean the cuisine of central and Eastern European Jews — Ashkenazim. The only similarity between traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardi cooking was the fact that they both splurged on Sabbath and Holiday meal and conformed to the Jewish dietary laws of Kashrut. Kashrut is a complex system of guidelines that covers a wide range of food production and consumption. Highlights of the code include:
“Land mammals must have “coven hooves” and chews its cud (i.e. sheep, cattle, goats, deer permissible; camels, hare, and pigs are not)…Water dwellers require scales and fins (no shellfish); scavengers (Catfish) are forbidden…Scavenging birds forbidden; winged insects, rodents, reptiles, and amphibians forbidden…the Rennet enzyme is derived from nonkosher animal, making certain cheeses nonkosher… a Shochet butcher required to humanely (one clean throat slit) slaughter animals and drain its blood…Cannot eat naturally deceased animals or diseased ones…Cannot mix milk and meat (by extension poultry and dairy) in the same dish or meal.”
Because of this final restriction, kosher households include two sets of dishes, cooking vessels and utensils, etc. In the pre-Zionist Diaspora, keeping kosher was a given if you were Jewish. Even though currently 70% of Israeli Jews are secular, 40% still keep some degree of kashrut. This reality exists because Orthodox parties wielded much power in the young Israeli state, guaranteeing all food produced, packaged, and sold in Israel would be kosher, which is largely true today. However, unlike Jews in the historical diaspora and in places like the modern United States, Jewish Israelis do not need to make a conscious effort to maintain kashrut; it is natural.
Early Ashkenazi Zionist immigrants to Palestine insisted that, “the foundations of the Jewish renaissance… lay in agriculture”. Thus, they had to reinvent the Jewish identity to achieve a successful Jewish state. As such, “Jewish merchant and intellectual in Europe… became a peasant in Palestine. The mythical attributes accredited to agriculture and physical labor were important building blocks in nation building.”  But as it relates to food, these European immigrants to Palestine did not have the tastes for the agricultural products of the land. Accustomed to cereals, potatoes, and animal fat; cabbage, beets, and radish; beef; and little fruit or eggs, these “pioneers” needed to adapt to vegetables (like tomatoes, eggplants and cucumbers), olive oil, and much less potatoes and beef. In the Yiddish Kitchen where these trailblazers were raised, one might find the staples of Gefilte fish (fish balls with finely minced fish, served in their own jelly with horseradish), Cholent (slowly simmered beef stew for the Shabbat meal), or Knaidlach (egg and Matzo meal based dumplings). Ashkenazim also enjoyed Kreplach (boiled or fried dumplings with meat or cheese), Latkes (fried potato pancakes), and Kugels (sweet or savory baked egg and noodle dishes). The iconic braided egg bread, challah, was eaten as a special treat on Shabbat. However, fresh produce in Palestine proved scarce and of poor quality. Settlers quickly established Tnuva, a large cooperative marketing society of the socialist farming sector and espoused the belief that fueling the Jewish agricultural industry was essential to their success as a people and as a future state. But it did not help that culinary know-how was “nonexistent.”
Parallel to the economic efforts, a vision for a common Jewish identity in Palestine was developed. Deemed the “Sabra,” it represented the ideal Israeli and embodied self-assuredness, self-assertion, and pride. The Sabra, like its namesake, the prickly pear cactus, has a rough exterior but is delicate and sweet within. Preferably native-born, kibbutz-raised Israelis of Ashkenazi descent would strive to be well educated and retain a strong belief in their own innate moral and physical superiority: “poetic and tender, bold and athletic, tousle-headed, confident, casual, insolent, tanned, handsome, European looking… the exact opposite of the Jewish shopkeeper of the old country.” The Sabra wore simple clothing such as sandals, khaki work pants, wrinkled and un-tucked shirts. They flaunted no makeup or jewelry, but rather “monastic simplicity” — energy, self-conscious primitivism, and contempt for sophistication. Modeled after the heroes of the American (Hollywood) cowboy and local Bedouin horsemen, Sabra cadres participated in kumzitz where they would gather around a campfire, singing nationalist songs and drinking coffee from a primitive pot made of tin cans — a romantic realization of the natural and genuine. The Sabra was bound to serve in a commando division of the revolution, Haganah or Palmach, or a post-1948 elite combat unit. In summary, the Sabra of the 1920s-1950s was “authentic…speaking and acting dugri without artifice, hard-boiled, true, honest, brave, self-sacrificing, tough, and direct — a natural leader and a ‘real person.’”  In the 30s, fleeing the Holocaust of central Europe, new Ashkenazi settlers brought coffeehouses, Wiener schnitzel, and “Bohemian” culture with literary elite to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and moshavim. So, the insecure Ashkenazi shopkeeper of Poland and Russia had become a bold Sabra in an exciting new Palestine.
Course 2 Appetizers: Arrival of New Peoples, Melding of New Flavors
In addition to the immigrants from Eastern Europe, groups from the broader Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa are all well represented in the Israeli populace. The Mediterranean culinary influence is realized in Israel’s emphasis on readily available vegetables, ample use of herbs, consumption of staple grains wheat and rice, and use of Chickpeas and fava beans as good starch and protein sources. Further evidence of Mediterranean impact is Israel’s extensive use of eggplant along with tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, wild greens, and squash. Of course, olive oil is the centerpiece of this culinary genre.
The “lavish” use of herbs, spices, garlic, and members of the onion family characterize Middle Eastern cooking. In addition to some spices familiar to the West, the Arab world utilizes cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cumin, and mint often. Also, Tahini, sesame paste, appears in many dishes or is thinned with water and lemon for a sauce. Arabs mix pine nuts with rice and ground meet to stuff vegetables with. A popular spice mix among Arabs and Israelis is Zataar (thyme, ground and mixed with sesame, sumac, salt; sometimes with citrus). Orange blossom water is used like rosewater in candy, drinks, and cakes. From the countries of Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Palestine, Israelis have widely embraced Meze salads including the popular Tabouleh (chopped parsley, bulgur wheat, tomato, and lemon juice), hummus (ground chick peas with tahini, lemon, garlic), and Baba Ganoush (grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon juice). All of these are served with pita bread, olives, pickles, and Labaneh, white cheese made from the versatile yogurt. The beloved street foods, Shawarma, marinated lamb grilled on a vertical split and served thinly sliced, and the skewered Kebab or Shislik are also rooted in those traditions. Chefs regard Yemen’s cuisine as the most unique of the Middle Eastern branch. Hawayii and the spicy Zhug spice blends exploit the flavorsome caraway, cardamom, saffron, and turmeric, cumin, cloves, coriander among others. Yemenites have long baked the pancake-like Mellawach and Kubaneh, which cook all night for Shabbat.
From Africa, an even more exotic gastronomy has emerged. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia has blessed Israel with three iconic dishes: couscous, Tagine, and Shakshuka. Couscous, fine semolina pasta, is steamed in a Couscousiere double boiler and is served in variety of stews that combine meat, vegetables, spices, and fruit. Harissa crushed hot pepper is often added and has found its way to many Israeli plates as a condiment. Tagine is pasta stewed in special earthenware pots, which are shallow and wide at bottom so steam collects in a pyramid at the top. Tagine is frequently combined with fruit, vegetables, and lamb. Tagines are traditionally served with Khubz, a round, flat bread. Chakchouka is one dish the Israelis have really come to love, cooking it street side and at home — it consists of poached eggs over tomatoes sautéed with onions, garlic, and herbs. The Ethiopians have brought dishes like the Injera spongy bread, used to dip into meat Wat stews in addition to a plethora of vegetable dishes.
With the influx of Mizrachim beginning in the 1950s, the romantic “Sabra” identity did not endure. New collective identities based on ethnicity and religiosity took hold, contributing to the country’s diversity. As Israel moved through the 1960s and 1970s, Mizrachim, with their dark skin, different cooking styles, and seemingly odd languages and customs, tended to be poorer, more religious, and less influential. Still, they provided a much more vibrant and succulent cuisine than the “sophisticated” Ashkenazim. During a period of economic hardship, Ashkenazim expected the newcomers to “modernize” away from their “folk” culture centered on religion. Sephardi Israeli culinary history can actually be tracked back to the 17th century arrival in Jerusalem, which fostered the creation of a unique blend of Spanish and Ottoman cuisines. Hallmarks of the style include stuffed vegetables, dainty sweet mints, and bourekas pastries stuffed with cheese.
An obvious hierarchy materialized, with dark-skinned Ethiopians at the bottom, underscoring the constant discordance regarding the “who is Jewish” question. Eventually, an ideology promoting this diversity came to light. The various edot groups were unified by the idea that they were the continuation of the original twelve tribes of the Israelites in biblical times — each processing a distinct culture but all composing one nation. This “Supermarket ethnicity” concept claimed everyone is indifferent to the variation. At this stage, cherished ethnic dishes were modified: an Eggplant variant of chopped liver appeared, the Iraqi kubbe (bulgur or semolina cases stuffed with meat) was made with frozen fish instead of meat; kicheri began to be stewed with ptitim — Israeli couscous — instead of the typical rice or lentils. The prominent Russian-born Israeli food writer Janna Gur explains, “First steps at multi-ethnic food culture were underway.” So the pre-state “Kibbutz ethos” that accentuated simple and local tradition morphed into a new spirit during the 1960s that resembled that of the bigger melting pot in the United States, and also coincided with Israel opening up internationally. There were new pushes for classical French techniques and dining out — Chinese, Italian, French restaurants sprouted throughout the country. Local styles still preserved a stronghold at popular Misadot Mizrachiyot, eastern restaurants. At these Arab-run eateries, meze salads, grilled meat, French fries, and chocolate mousse were served; they lacked any real Palestinian authenticity. Furthermore, except for the “national dishes” of hummus and falafel, Israelis were largely clueless about neighboring culinary traditions. The classic “Jewish food” of Europe was rarely found anywhere; instead, Israelis opted to enjoy Sephardic varieties at home.
Course 3 Entrée: The New Israeli Cuisine and the new Israeli:
During the 1970s, there was a movement among chefs to create a “haute” Israeli style, applying French techniques to Israeli food icons like oranges, bananas, and avocados. These chefs titled dishes with patriotic names like “Banana Tel Kazir” and “Fish in Mishmar Hayarden Sauce.” However, the style remained confined to hotels and fine dining, failing to reach the general population. But the 1980s ushered in a culinary revolution. The 1979 treaty with Egypt fostered hope and optimism, an improving economy, and new appetites for world travel; consequently, chefs sought to create dishes with a global flair. Tsachi Buchshester’s Hatarvad Havarod (The Pink Ladle) and Itimar Davidoff’s Pitango in Tel Aviv emerged as early bearers of this trend. These tiny, experimental restaurants were the first that fused international cuisine with Middle Eastern influences. Buchshster’s halva parfait exemplies this idea well: it employs Middle Eastern ingredients using French technique, making it fashionable and widely imitated. In 1989, Haim Cohen and Irit Shenkar established Keren in Jaffa to rival New York and London’s best, promoting their goal: “to fuse the friendly food we love so much with fine dining.”  At first, their fare was predominantly French. Soon, Cohen and Shenkar became more adventurous, offering lamb kebab with tahini and shakshuka with Foei gras. Considered a leading figure in the Israeli food scene, Erez Komarovsky also traveled abroad to study classical techniques but argues that chefs cannot get away from the flavors they love so much; he found that it was easier for him to connect “ better to shawarma than to steak tartare.”
At the forefront of the modern Israeli food scene is Yotam Ottolenghi, who authored the cookbook Jerusalem in 2012 with his partner, Sami Tamimi. Both are Jerusalem natives but Ottolenghi is Jewish and Tamimi is Palestinian. They met in London during the 1990s, Ottolenghi had taken courses at the famed Cordon Bleu cooking school after briefly considering an academic career and Tamimi had been destined to be a chef since his childhood. While they primarily focus on the cuisine of the Israeli capital, the principles of the broader Israeli style are essentially the same. They appreciate this “immense tapestry of cuisines” as an intricate mosaic of cultures but recognize there are certain mainstays. 1: Everybody uses chopped cucumber and tomato to create “Israeli” or “Arab” salads; 2: stuffed or pickled vegetables and rice are everywhere; 3: olive oil and lemon juice are liquid gold; 4: bourekas are a beloved treat. The authors insist that food is one of the only unifying forces in Israel.
In Gur’s 2007 cookbook, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, she features a variety of previously non-Israeli cooking methods and presentations including confit, ceviche, tartare, quiche, and casseroles to pair with the more standard stuffed and/or roasted vegetables. Gur also reveals that grilling, mangal or al ha’esh in Hebrew, in both restaurants and at home is a flourishing technique. Upholding the sanctity of Olive Oil as “the soul of the Mediterranean,” she adds that in Judaism, the oil represents beauty, fertility, and peace. In both Jerusalem and The Book of New Israeli Food, the recipes and beautiful corresponding photography underscore Israel’s cuisine as vibrant, colorful, fresh, light, exciting, plentiful, warm, decadent, rich, simple, complex, and harmonious. Both emphasize the quality of ingredients, various cultural perspectives, and the centrality of the Shuk (Arabic: Souk) market.
Gur affirms “As Israeli society becomes more cosmopolitan and elegant in its tastes, local ethnic food traditions become more pronounced.”  Chefs draw their inspiration from the food they grew up with, serving personal takes on Mediterranean or Middle Eastern food. At home, Israelis relish “cross-overs” like chicken soup with spicy Moroccan fish and chicken schnitzel on a bed of couscous. Today, fine wines like those produced at the Golan Winery, which opened in 1983, boutique cheeses, and renaissance of olive oil distinguish the broader Israeli gastronomy. Additionally, advanced aquaculture and the variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs are “simply overwhelming” given the natural quality of the land.
I have done personal fieldwork at Philadelphia restaurant Zahav, “gold” in Hebrew, where chef Michael Solomonov has managed to export Israeli cooking. Solomonov spent most of his childhood in Pittsburgh, but the self-described snowboarding and pot smoking major at Vermont cut undergrad studies short to work in a bakery near his birthplace Tel-Aviv before attending a Florida culinary school. After returning to Pennsylvania, he cooked at the Philadelphia Italian gem Vetri, where he often experimented with Middle Eastern spices. Finally, he opened his own restaurant in 2008. Solomonov confirms that Israel is a puree, “Arab food is everywhere… But there are also people who have returned from so many different other places, like the Yemenite cuisine that is so exciting, the Syrian cuisine from Aleppo, the Turks and Greeks who have come back, not to forget all the Armenians and Druse… and of course, the Palestinian food…. And how can I forget the Ethiopians and Russians?” The restaurant is modeled after an Israeli market, an airy, expansive space with walls of Jerusalem stone adorned with large photos of crowded market-goers. The entire experience was consistent with my research. An impressive wine selection was on display, and the eatery boasted a predominantly Middle Eastern menu — simple yet sophisticated. On a Monday night more than five years after opening, it took half an hour to get a seat at the bar. A diverse clientele was dining — young, old; Jewish, non-Jewish (from what I could discern) — evidencing a large global consumer base for Israeli cuisine. An exemplary dish from Zahav would be its coffee and cardamom-coated brisket, served with chestnuts and turnips on a bed of pumpkin juice-infused jasmine rice. Furthermore, the Mizrachi culinary breadth and familiarity — remarkable given its alien-like status just decades ago — particularly the integrity to pair with its numerous dishes, “places Israel squarely in the Middle East,” contrary to many analyses of Israeli culture.
Similarly, “Med-rim” cooking, fusion cuisines from countries on the shores of the Mediterranean beyond just Italy and Greece centering on Israel, has received a warm welcome in the United States. “Terrence Brennan of Picholine near Lincoln Center, is slipping nuggets of halvah into his coffee ice cream; Donna Insalaco, at Fama in Santa Monica is offering lamb ragout with cumin and feta cheese, and Andrew Nathan, of Frontiere in Soho, grinds a batch of incendiary harissa every day to serve with merguez-and-couscous salad.”  Boston restaurateur, Todd English, at both Olives and adjacent Figs adheres to these “pan-Mediterranean” influences. He serves a wood-grilled Armenian flatbread topped with goat cheese and tomatoes, accompanying leg of lamb and a Syrian cucumber salad. English also offers a “fusion tabbouleh” of cracked wheat and fresh tuna. Brennan uses Sumac to rub meats and reduces his own pomegranate syrup to add to vinaigrettes. This is the realization of the “New Israeli Cuisine” being spread all over the world.
Palette Cleanser: lasting impressions
Gur insists that 20–30 years ago, “nobody (came) to Israel for the food” and would only expect hummus and “hearty” breakfast. But everything has changed. As Israel globalized during the 1980s, its citizens have embraced the worldwide arena — doing amazing things like technology start-ups. The Israeli cuisine and identity has come full circle: once a rustic Sabra, the modern Israeli mirrors its food: global, innovative, and assertive. Israel touts a “vibrant, sophisticated restaurant scene where young, internationally trained chefs fuse classic cooking techniques with those from the Middle East”. Now residents and tourists can “savor world-class wines, sip a perfect cup of cappuccino at a seaside café, nibble delectable goat cheeses at a dairy farm in the galilee, and sample authentic and varied street food. They can wander through open-air markets brimming with fresh produce and exotic goods by day and hang out at trendy bars by night. They can buy almost any conceivable ingredient anywhere in the country, find a vast array of Hebrew language cookbooks… and have a choice of food shows and cooking classes given by professional chefs… . The transformation is incredible.
When faced with the question whether Israel has a national cuisine, chefs are hesitant to say “yes.” Rather, they praise Israel for its diversity that provides infinite opportunities, “The food culture that has evolved is one of dynamic cross-fertilization between numerous influences: Arab and Jewish, Eastern Europe an North Africa, religious and secular, new immigrants and old timers, locals and foreigners. They all work together to create a synergy.” Moreover, this fusion — by far the key buzzword in the contemporary Israeli food scene — is ever changing, ingredients always in flux and technique constantly being discovered. While different peoples and styles caused the Israeli scene to endure some high temperatures at times, It is clear that where cuisine is concerned, Israel has avoided a chaotic Pressure Cooker of a society, electing to embrace the diversity of its Melting Pot.
Janna Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey (New York: Schocken Books, 2007), 6
Rebecca L. Torstrick, Culture and Customs of Israel (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004), 105
 In 1894, a Jewish French army officer was wrongly accused of treason
 Derived from “Zion”, a classic synonym for Jerusalem and the Land of Israel
 Organized massacre of the Jews:
 From Aliyah: literally, “to go up”, but means immigrate to Israel
Charles Lindholm, Culture and Authenticity (Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 2008), 112
 “Aliya and Absorption.” Last Modified October 29, 2002. Accessed December 11, 2013.
 Jews originating from the Iberian Peninsula, but more broadly meaning non-European Jews; used interchangeably with Mizrachi (Eastern) for the purposes of this paper
 Torstrick, Culture and Customs of Israel, 106.
 Torstrick, Culture and Customs of Israel, 106.
Yehuda Don, “Shaping Tastes to Promote National Goals: The Case of Israel” In Food Policy and Economic Development in the Mediterranean Countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, and Israel, ed. Armando Montanari et al. (Collana: CNR, Istiuto di Ricerche sull’economia Mediterranea, 1993), 153.
 Literally, a fusion of German and Hebrew languages spoken by Ashkenazim but using the Hebrew alphabet, but can be used interchangeably with Ashkenazi in some contexts.
The Jewish Sabbath (day of rest) on Saturdays.
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 8.
 Communal farming communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism
 Lindholm, Culture and Authenticity, 115–116.
 From Arabic meaning straight
 Lindholm, Culture and Authenticity, 115–116.
 Farming cooperatives similar to Kibbutzim, but allowed private property
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 8.
 This is a well-documented source of tension between Israelis and Palestinians.
 Both cities were heavily bombed during the Six Day War in 1967
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 14.
 Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Jerusalem: a Cookbook (New York: Ten Speed Press, 2012), 10.
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 16.
 Religious sect of Islamic origin, chiefly in Lebanon and Syria
Joan Nathan, “After His Brother’s Killing, a Chef Turns to Israeli Food,” The New York Times, September 20th, 2011, accessed December 9th, 2013.
 Torstrick, Culture and Customs of Israel, Preface.
 Spicy sausage made of beef or lamb with red peppers, originally from North Africa.
 Rozanne Gold, A Region’s Tastes Comingle in Israel, The New York Times, July 20th, 1994, Accessed December 8, 2013.
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 6
 Gur, The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey, 16.
Broisa, Marian. Ancient Israelites and their Neighbors: an Activity Guide. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2003.
CBS News. “A Taste of the Middle East at the Deli Counter.” Last modified December 1, 2013. Accessed December 1, 2013. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-taste-of-middle-east-peace-at-the-deli-counter/
Cushing, Karl. “Creative Cuisine.” Travel Weekly (UK): Israel Supplement. November 2010. Accessed 11/20/13.
Don, Yehuda. Shaping Tastes to Promote National Goals: The Case of Israel. In Food Policy and Economic Development in the Mediterranean Countries: Portugal, Spain, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, and Israel. Edited by Armando Montanari. Collana: CNR, Istiuto di Ricerche sull’economia mediterranea, 1993.
Fabricant, Florence. “In Israel, Chefs Are Inventing a Vibrant Native Cuisine.” The New York Times, June 26, 1996. Accessed December 8, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/26/garden/in-israel-chefs-are-inventing-a-vibrant-native-cuisine.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Gold, Rozanne. “A Region’s Tastes Comingle in Israel.” The New York Times, July 20th 1994. Accessed December 8, 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/20/garden/a-region-s-tastes-commingle-in-israel.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
Gur, Janna. The Book of New Israeli Food: A Cultural Journey. New York: Schocken Books, 2007.
Israel Department of Foreign Affairs. “Aliya and Absorption.” Last Modified October 29, 2002. Accessed December 11, 2013. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutIsrael/History/Pages/Aliya%20and%20Absorption.aspx
Lindholm, Charles. Culture and Authenticity. Malden, Blackwell Publishing, 2008.
Nathan, Joan. “After His Brother’s Killing, a Chef Turns to Israeli Food.” The New York Times, September 20, 2011. Accessed December 9 2013. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/dining/after-a-killing-michael-solomonov-turns-to-israeli-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&
Ottolenghi, Yotam and Sami Tamimi. Jerusalem: a Cookbook. New York: Ten Speed Press, 2012.
Raviv, Yael. “The Hebrew Banana: Local Food and the Performance of Israeli National Identity.” Journal for the Study of Food and Society: Summer 2001. Accessed November 19, 2013
Rozin, Orit. “Food, Identity, and Nation-Building in Israel’s Formative Years.” Israel Studies Forum, Summer 2006: 52–80. Accessed November 19, 2013
Sheriton, Mimi. “The Melting Pot.” Conde Nast’s Traveler: June 1, 1997. Accessed November 19, 2013
Torstrick, Rebecca L. Culture and Customs of Israel. Westport: Greenwood Press, 2004.
Unger, Carol. “The Taste of Jerusalem: Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi paint a complex portrait of their hometown’s cuisine in a new cookbook.” Tablet: October 15, 2012. Accessed December 9, 2013. http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-life-and-religion/113137/the-taste-of-jerusalem
Zahav Restaurant. Philadelphia. Menu. December 2, 2013. 2013. Print.