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A Taste of Israel: The Shuk - Israeli Food & Wine Festival


We can all agree that food is life. This is why we're excited to list the upcoming Israel food and wine festival- an event after our own heart. Baraka Israel and the Embassy of Israel in Kenya combine forces to bring us the best in culinary delights from Israel. Join us as we explore what’s in store for you at this edition of the Shuk.

Your journey through the 8 food stations should begin with falafel - known in most circles as Israel’s national dish. Falafel is a delicious ball of deep fried chickpeas mixed with flour and a blend of heavenly spices such as parsley, roasted garlic, cumin, ground pepper, cayenne pepper, and cardamom. This dish is best served on pita bread and topped off with hummus and tahini sauce.

What is hummus you may ask? And tahini? Well, hummus is quite possibly the best spread you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting. It’s got mashed chickpeas paste blended with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, tahini and salt to taste. Tahini, on the other hand, is the dip of the gods. Often referred to as a kitchen staple in Israel, tahini is a combination of sesame seed paste, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh garlic cloves, black pepper, salt and a range of spices. Legend has it that tahini is so delicious, you’ll be licking every last drop off your fingers.

While the tahini is melting in your mouth, picture sinking your teeth into layers of spicy meat wrapped in pita bread. That’s right, we are talking about the infamous shawarma. The sight of tantalizing meat rotating on a spit, soaked in its own moisture has left many a mouthwatering. The choice is yours between chicken, lamb and beef shawarma but we absolutely recommend adding a side of leafy salad and drizzling tahini on top for an extra-delicious experience.

Still have room for dessert? Why not try some halva. When we said tahini is the kitchen staple in Israel, we really meant it. Halva is made from a tahini/ sesame butter base combined with vanilla, honey, and chocolate. This mixture is cooked at around 115 degrees Celsius to form a soft ball which is cooled then served. Pistachios and other varieties of nuts are often incorporated during the cooling process to add flavor. Your sweet tooth will surely be patting you on the back for this tasty treat.

How about some wine to bring it all together? Israel has a 6000-year history of making wine so your taste buds are in safe hands. Quench your thirst with the selection of 20 different wines.

Finally, make a point of trying some flavored dead sea salt from the lowest place on earth ( the Dead Sea is located at an astounding 424 meters below sea level). This world-renowned salt is famous for its healing, detoxifying and cleansing properties. The sea salt contains a large variety of minerals that you are unlikely to get from any other natural mixture.  Sample some black salt, garlic salt, paprika salt, wine flavored salt and even golden salt at one of the stands in the festival.

If reading this post had your mouth watering then make a point of getting that ticket. Your tummy will be spoilt for choice and your mind will be amazed from all the knowledge you’ll gain about Israeli culture. So, before you book that ticket to Tel Aviv, book this one to find out what the holy land is all about.

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