Kate came for a 10 day visit. This was always going to be an ambitious project, us trying to squeeze a diverse, ever changing, constantly evolving rich foodscape that is made up of dozens of different cuisines, local and from the various Diaspora; Street food, gourmet, cheap and expensive, simple and pretentious, fresh and seasonal, slow and traditional, we had it all.
This was a week of chicken, turkey and lamb shawarma, good hummus and bad, cheap borek, good borek and luxury crab meat borek, brains on toast, kibbeh soup, shakshuka, mujaddara, sweet knafe, mild Malabi and a sour sweet tamarind juice.
The new covered market at Tel Aviv port was the place we had a fluffy kebab and an inspiring gelato, at Levinsky spice market we collected spices, from dried Persian lemons to white Yemenite coffee, a mediocre borek and an unforgettable pomegranate orange juice. Lastly, we made a pitstop at HaCarmel market for some succulent Medjool dates.
Ali Karawan’s mind blowing hummus in Jaffa was a Friday breakfast appetizer, but then we simply had to stop at the doctor for a spicy shakshuka, a taste of his shawarma and a cuscus (Dr. Shakshuka has a Phd in shakshuka, in case you wondered).A visit to Jerusalem's Mahne Yehuda market began with coffee and a visit to 'Marzipan' patisserie for their gooey dripping Rogelach and boreks before we headed to Azura for a taste of Kibbeh soup and okra cooked in tomato sauce. We had no time to waste and so we headed to the old city, for more food and some spirituality at the wailing wall and the church of the sepulchre.
As part of the' once in a lifetime' experience we made plans to visit Petra. Although Jordan is the closest thing to abroad from Israel, this was to be my first time. A taxi ride, flight, border pass, and more taxi ride later we were in Wadi Mussa, ready to see the wonder. It may have been the end of November but you couldn't tell from the heat wave. We saw the wonder and even saved our packed lunch to have in it's presence. Several hours later, after marvelling at the landscape and trying to avoid the donkey rides that kept appearing in front of us we had dinner at a restaurant specializing in typical Jordanian cuisine.