Bar Tartine in San Francisco recently hosted a five-course feast inspired by Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. We tried to stay cool while meeting the authors, but it was pretty exciting to shake hands with the man behind Plenty, one of our favorite vegetable cookbooks of all time. And it was also exciting to taste food inspired by the brand new book, which features recipes from Ottolenghi and Tamimi's childhoods on two different sides of Jerusalem.
'Jerusalem' on Serious Eats
Mahane Yehuda, or just "the shuk" (meaning "market"), is a must-hit in Jerusalem. Over 250 vendors make up this vibrantly colorful and bustling open-air market. You've got the tattooed cherry vendor standing before piles of lighter pink and deeper red cherries; the Halvah King wearing his crown, presenting you with mocha-flavored halvah samples; Orthodox Jews shopping for rugelach alongside Armenian monks buying almonds by the pound.
These are very different from any rugelach I've ever tried. Many American Jews tend towards cinnamon-sprinkled, raisin-dotted rugelach with a crispy, flaky exterior. Marzipan rugelach are shamelessly rich, practically oozing a chocolate filling. The dough is still tender and somewhat flaky but certainly not crisp. A single bite of these two-inch treats nearly sent me into a sugar coma.
No trip to Israel would be complete without sampling at least a few falafel sandwiches. And since I've accumulated a fair amount of falafel experience over the years, I was excited to see if the chickpea fritters were better in their native land than here in the States. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed by several visits to Moshiko, a falafel and shawarma joint in Jerusalem.
Many of my absolute favorite travel memories revolve around exploring the town's local marketplace. The colors and smells; the cries of bargaining salesmen and shoppers. So naturally I was drawn to Shuk Mahane Yehuda, a bustling marketplace in Jerusalem. On a Friday afternoon, the market is overrun by men, women, and children shopping for the Sabbath and feasting on delicious local delicacies.
Though Israelis and Palestinians have trouble seeing eye to eye, they do stuff similar street foods in their mouths. Olives, falafel, flatbreads, nuts, and hummus crowd the streets of Jerusalem, but what do these foods say about the war-torn metropolis? In this engaging (and twelve-minute long) special from Al Jazeera, we visit places like the hummus joint "From Gaza to Berlin," where the name comes from the physical location (Berlin Street) and the built-in regional metaphor. Like Israel, the food here is somewhere between East and West. "There is no Israeli food. All our food is from neighbors and Jewish immigration that came to Israel," says one local....
So you're visiting the Holy Land, huh? First thing you're gonna do is grab a slice, right? Of course you are—you're a Slice reader, after all. Well, if you need to know where the best places are, Jerusalemite runs through six of 'em. The best? Big Apple Pizza, wouldn't ya know? At first glance, it appears that someone did a lot of shopping at one of the myriad of tschoky stores that litter Times Square. New York license plates and Statue of Liberty figurines ordain the walls and countertops. Back in they day they used to blast recordings of...