Try Some Healthy Israeli Food This Summer

November 7, 2011 by Sharon Berger
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With summer just around the corner everyone is on the lookout for light, healthy eating options….writes Sharon Berger.

Sharon Berger

The growing popularity of Mediterranean cuisine worldwide is testament not only to the health benefits but also to the taste.   Including a variety of new spices and ingredients in your kitchen can transform your cooking from bland to brilliant.

One Mediterranean classic that is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, is shakshouka. Derived from the Hebrew word to shake, the eggs are poached in a rich sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, red capsicum and spiced with cumin. Mopped up with the obligatory pita there aren’t many better ways to start the day. In Israel, you can even buy the shakshouka mix in a can and just add the eggs making it a foolproof dish. Shakshouka, originally from North Africa, has become a mainstay of the Israeli diet.

Israeli tucker

As Israel has absorbed immigrants from almost every country in the world it has become a culinary crossroads where European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines blend together to create mouth-watering combinations. Sabich, originally an Iraqi dish, is another example of popular Israeli street food. Fried eggplant slices and hard-boiled eggs are stuffed in a pita with hummus, tahini, salad, parsley and amba, a mango pickle. A delicious, healthy combination that can be enjoyed almost any time of day.

With a reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables, a large number of Israeli dishes are suitable for vegetarians. Many of the popular salads and dips are vegan including the ubiquitous hummus. Growing health awareness has seen the development of many products that are lactose-free, gluten-free and/or sugar-free. With 25% annual growth Israel’s organic food sector is rapidly expanding to meet the demands of health conscious consumers worldwide. As most food in Israel is produced under strict kosher supervision customers can rest assured that labeling is accurate.

Last year Israeli food imports to Australia grew by almost 9% as consumers looked to expand their food options with an increasingly sophisticated  range of high-quality goods including olives, olive oil, wines, chocolates, condiments, frozen pastries, and much more.

One recent product introduced to the Australian market is the gourmet range of biscuits sold by the Elsa’s Story label. The company offers a variety of tempting homemade treats in attractive packaging that make great gifts. Parent company, the Wissotsky Tea group, has also reinvented itself in the last few years, today offering a range of enticing teas and herbal infusions, in both tea bags and loose tea.

Whether it’s a boutique olive oil, a cup of mint tea, a yummy biscuit or a sabich sandwich, enjoy something new today at your nearest supermarket or delicatessen.

Sharon Berger, a former business journalist for The Jerusalem Post and Business Middle East, is a public relations consultant to the Israel Trade Commission. 


One Response to “Try Some Healthy Israeli Food This Summer”
  1. Sol Salbe says:

    Could the editor enlighten us as to to the writer’s background, please? While there is room for debate on the origin for Sabich, I am familiar with Ruvik Rosenthal’s explanation in the dictionary of Hebrew slang which suggests that Shakshouka is derived from Moroccan Arabic Chakchouka. Is there any reason to believe that Ms Dolev is better positioned to provide us with the etymology?

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