10 Foods from Israel You Should Know About That Aren’t Hummus
Israeli food deserves the spotlight — and it’s so much more than just hummus and couscous. As an immigrant nation with a unique geographic location, this country has produced cuisine that's a fusion between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean. From colorful salads to creamy spreads to rosewater-infused sweets, there are so many iconic flavors that are reinterpreted in new ways. Get ready to dive in with these 10 tasty foods that are emblematic of this unique cuisine.
Malabi: Malabi is a milk- and flour-based custard that can be found anywhere in Israel, from upscale restaurants to street food vendors. What makes this dessert so special is the use of rosewater in its preparation. You can also top it with fresh ingredients like coconut shavings or chopped nuts, which add a crunchy texture to the otherwise creamy delicacy. (Photo via Kale & Caramel)
Beef Shawarma: In America, the closest equivalent we have to this dish is probably the gyro. Although similar, shawarma is the uniquely Israeli interpretation in which slowly grilled meat is served in a pita and covered with hummus and Israeli salad, then topped off with pickles, olives, charif, and fried eggplant. (Photo via Little Spice Jar)
Shakshouka With Zhoug: Shakshouka is a wildly popular dish from North Africa that's spread to almost every Mediterranean country, where it's been adapted to local cooking traditions. In Israel, this tomato and egg brunch dish is scooped up both with a fork and with chunks of freshly baked pita bread. (Photo via The Awesome Green)
Ramp Malawach: This simple dish is dependent on a Yemenite bread that's the ideal blank canvas. It's very plain on its own, but there are countless fillings and toppings that you can add to keep this everyday, utilitarian bread from becoming boring. (Photo via My Name is Yeh)
Kanafeh: Kanafeh is considered a dessert pastry, but the only thing pastry-like are the two layers of thinly shredded, flaky pastry that surround a warm, gooey center of pure cheese. To keep things from getting too savory, this dessert is often served with a warm compote or sauce. (Photo via Closet Cooking)
Jachnun: This rolled-up pastry is comprised of a Yemenite bread that's traditionally served on Shabbat (sundown on Friday through sundown on Saturday). The eggroll-like creation is a true labor of love; after each layer is individually buttered, jachnun is then baked at very low heat for approximately 10 hours. It's traditionally served with a boiled egg and s'hug, a crushed tomato sauce. (Photo via Karen’s Kitchen Stories)
Kibbeh: The word kibbeh is derived from the Arabic kubbeh, which means ball. A crispy exterior encases the aromatic meat and spices that make up these flavor-packed bites. (Photo via TravelFoodBlog)
Chive Pancakes: Much like in France, crepes are everywhere in Israel. Savory or sweet, they make a great snack or light lunch when you’re in a hurry or on-the-go. (Photo via 101 Cookbooks)
Crispy Fried Marinated Halloumi: There's a lot of cheese in Israel. Naturally, when things are available in abundance, chefs will let that ingredient shine — which is exactly what happened when someone decided that fried halloumi cheese was a good idea. We couldn't agree more. (Photo via Fuss Free Flavours)
Matabucha: Originally from Morocco, this dish is *technically* considered a salad, but it's used more as a condiment. Since it has a roasted red pepper and tomato base, it’s pretty delicious on anything you choose to put it on. (Photo via Charlotte au Chocolate)
Have you tried any other Israeli foods that you fell in love with? Share them with us @BritandCo.