The pulse buzzes. The adrenalin rushes. Beauty abounds. The senses are in superlative. It is sexy. It is stylish. It is downright fascinating.
As my first exposure to Israel, Tel Aviv set the pace and tone for the time spent in the country. After spending a week in different parts of the country, I can easily say this is one place that beckons me back with the promise of more. Ostensibly, I was there to sample the cuisine and the food. But, what is food without culture and people?! Set against the interesting collage that makes the culture of Israel, food in Tel Aviv stands as an extroversion of its outlook and history.
It is without any hesitation an invigorating and entirely intriguing city. Not only does it offer the best landscape to study the congruence of diverse ethnicities, it does so with a remarkably calm composure. Given the geo-dynamics of the region, calm is hardly an adjective you would expect to connect with this experience. Yet, on the surface of this city, in the faces and lives of the people who live here, you only see a sheen of unruffled normalcy. Read More
The high point of my recent trip to Israel was an evening spent in a Druze home, sipping tea, learning about their life and beliefs and of course, delighting in some amazing home made delicacies.
Arranged through Galil Eat, our guide was Paul himself, who runs a supper club of sorts. Paul arranges up close and personal experiences in Israeli homes in the Galilee region, where one can be immersed into the hosts' culture through food and conversation. You get a lot of information about their life while enjoying a wonderful at-home culinary experience. Talking to Paul I realized there are several religious and ethnic minority groups that live and love Israel. He arranged for an evening with the Druze community and cuisine in the home of Pinina (and her daughter Rana).
The fact is, this was not my first experience with Druze. One of my favorite and oft frequented lunch spots in NYC is Gazala Place, which, as it happens serves Druze cuisine. Not that I had noticed the tiny print stating that on their menus. The spark of connection was ignited during the tea when we were served their distinctive 'pita'. Read More