Let’s Talk About…Food: Travel Diary

I think it’s safe to call myself a ‘foodie.’  It’s in my blood. So, one would certainly understand my excitement about spending ten days in a country that really  (and I mean, really) loves to eat.

The first thing any person asks you in Israel is “Are you hungry?” Most times, they skip the formalities and just bring on the food. If you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, you’ll understand. Food, plus loud, noisy relatives, and roasting whole animals on spits in our front yard are all part of the picture Yeah, that happens.

When I arrived on Monday, I knew eating would be part of the daily agenda, as it is in New York, but I didn’t expect just how much. It’s almost as though my relatives are in a competition to see who can feed me the most. Only in Israel is it acceptable to eat five meals in less than five hours. Today, I put my eating abilities up to the test in a way that I never have before, something that would put the Hobbits and their elevensies to shame. The most important thing I’ve discovered since I arrived is that it’s never too early for ice cream, especially froyo from Katzefet. From an early breakfast of burekas and eggs in the shuk to ice cream, pasta and, later on, kubeh in Ben Yehudah, there is nothing more satisfying than exploring the tastes and flavors of this fantastic country.

This is just part of the Israeli culture, the divine, yet somewhat absurd way that people live their lives here.  Always eating, always enjoying, always relishing in what they have and living life to the fullest. This is why I love this place: It’s everything I am, and everything I want to be.

Tomorrow, I head up to Tzfat for a long weekend, followed by a trip to Meiron for Lag B’omer (the climax, and hopefully highlight of my trip). In less than a week, I’ll be back in the urban jungle that is Brooklyn…sigh.

But for now, I think I’ll go find the source of that ridiculously wonderful smell coming from the kitchen.