Tag Archives: salad

Tehina Tehina Everywhere

Tehina//Tehini//Tahini//Tahina

The amount of ways to spell this wonder speaks to how versatile this can be in the kitchen. One of the things that I missed most about Israel when I was in Brazil was tehina. Now, getting ready to leave here again, I’ve already started to miss it.  Not that you can’t get tehina elsewhere. I’ve even found it in most supermarkets in Brazil, at a less than fair price. But truth be told, I was never a tehina believer until I moved to Tel Aviv,  and sadly the tehina I’ve tasted everywhere else just doesn’t compare to what I’ve grown to love so much.

You always hear in Israel, “I make the best tehina” or “No, seriously you haven’t tried tehina until you’ve tried (insert brand name here)”. For some reason all the most reputable brand names are called by various animals that appear on the label- Eagle, Giraffe, Pigeon. Why these animals are associated with sesame paste I don’t know but who really cares when what they contain is so sublimey delicious. While living in Tel Aviv I made it a point to test all the most popular brands and do a comparison to figure out which is really “the best tehina ever”. The clear winner: Tehina Yona (Pigeon.). Tehina comes in variety of colors based on the original color of seeds, golden or white, and the treatment they receive while being processed, toasted or untoasted. The yona is 100% ground white sesames and is pure deliciousness.

When I realized that there was no post on tehina sauce I figured it was necessary as it is a staple for every Israeli household, and is becoming widely popular in the states because of it’s nutritional value and versatility. It is fairly straight forward and completely depends on your personal tastes, do you like it creamy or more liquidy, pure and simple or amped up with various add-ins — garlic, parsley, olive oil, paprika….. tehina is one of those base sauces that can stand up to almost any other flavor and still be delicious (in fact, on a recent edition of Israeli version of Masterchef someone made a savory tehina sauce with vanilla- the judges seemed to like it… and that’s right I somehow still got caught into the trap of Masterchef all the way in Brazil). My personal favorite is to have it with a roasted eggplant and salad.

Anyways enough of my shenanigans- here’s to the good stuff. Two versions: One classy and one dressed up in flavors you wouldn’t expect, but oh so delicious. So this is my tribute to you my creamy white gem of an accompaniment.

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Filed under Israeli, Jewish

Chanukah Menu

On Friday night, Dec 11th 2009, Jews around the world will be lighting the menorahs and eating oil filled food, in celebration of Chanukah (I feel like I am teaching 3rd grade again). With Thanksgiving coming in a few days, you might not be able to plan for more than one festivity at a time, but I find myself planning for holidays about one month in advance (I’m cutting it close this year…).

As a slight diversion from the usual topic, let’s talk about menu planning. I see the menu as having four essential components, 1) taste, 2) nutrition, 3) ease of cooking, and 4) seasonality. For sake of not making this a novel, I will only touch on each of them briefly.

Let me lay out what my tentative menu will look like, then I will explain why

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Filed under Fish, Fruit and Vegtables, Hannukah, Jewish, Other Stuff

Produce Heaven

Israeli Salad

I’d first like to thank Amiee and Gordon for inviting me to contribute to their food blog! I’m so happy to try to add to Gordon and Amiee’s almost sick amount of food knowledge. As previously mentioned in Amiee’s post below, I’ll be conducting most of my foodie-blogging where I currently live in Tel Aviv, sharing some Israeli delicacies.

I’ll start by recounting my most recent journey to the open air market of Tel Aviv. Oh sweet shuk hacarmel… it seems like every week I have a new reason to fall in love with this produce heaven. Beckoning shoppers with it’s soundtrack of stall workers yells, smells of freshly bundled herbs, and the overwhelming sight of mass quantities of produce, the shuk has something for everyone. With a wide array of goods, the shuk is the place to find bargain kitchen supplies, fish, cheeses, knock off clothing, cosmetics, bulk candy, freshly baked breads, spices, toys, or even electronics.

I go to the shuk primarily for the superabundance of fresh fruit and veggies at low prices. Admittedly I am somewhat of a produce snob. The shuk offers choices in produce, which is a nice break from the almost anemic selection to be found at most supermarkets. Going from basta to basta (stall) it is apparent what is in season by the almost overflowing pomegranates and piles of dates. To me, this is the mecca for produce and the epitome of freshness. To me it is the fresh and preservative-free products, which abound here, that make the food in Israel exceptionally excellent.

To me, the best Israeli food is simple with few components, no need to over-salt or over-pepper, just a bit of seasoning to highlight the already flavorful ingredients. That’s why for my initial post to this glorious new blog I am going to put up a simple but staple Israeli food, the chopped salad.

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Filed under Fruit and Vegtables, Israeli