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Published: April 28th 2018
Isreal Delicious...what an apt description for this tour! If any of you who are reading this comes to Tel Aviv, this is a must...without a doubt!
A group of 7 met our tour host at the mouth of the Carmel Market. However, she took us around the outskirts of the market to get samples of all her favorites. (I will be going back to the market later today to just take it in.)
With all her knowledge of food and relationships with the shop owners, this was an incredible experience.
We started off at a juice bar, but this was no Jamba Juice! Hearing the background of the shop owners to the history of their products was incredibly interesting...and samples of course!
Then, off to her favorites bakery. We were able to sample the original bagels that were still made to this day with the original starter made 125 years ago. The bagels here are flat and so very good. There was also this flat bread with leafy herbs baked in that was outstanding. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name.
Next we went to get Sabich. Apparently this street food is a very personal experience. When
one finds "their" Sabich, that's it. They will not eat any other. People will literally go miles out of their way to get their Sabich. And, after tasting it, I can understand why. I have never had egg plant as good as this!
Then, off to a spice stall. Our guide knows the owners personally and she was able to take us to the back to show us where they grind their spices. They use stone grinders. The spices we get back home are cut up vs. ground and there is a huge difference! The taste of paprika is completely different. I don't remember all the spices we were given but all of the were fantastic! We were also given a Medjool Date to try. Never tasted a date like that before, extremely creamy in taste and texture. How am i going to be able to just accept what we have at home now?
After the spice, it was then Turkish coffee. I was excited to try this for the first time. While very strong and hot, absolutely a worthwhile drink.
We were then taken to her favorite hummus place. Again, like Sabich, hummus is a very
personal thing. We were given 3 different hummus to try and were told to use a piece of raw onion to swipe the hummus for your first bite. It is traditional and onion should always be served with hummus. The hummus is made that morning and the shop stays open until it's gone. And the pita is soft and and delicious. Believe me when I tell you that the hummus and pita we get at the supermarket back home cannot even compare! And, lucky for me that this hummus shop is on the same street as my hotel. I will be going back before I leave!
Lastly, we were taken to another bakery where we were able to sample both a savoury and sweet pastry right off of the baking sheets! Everything was made that morning and baked there. I think I will be going back tomorrow before I leave to get some pastries to gift my hosts in Jerusalem.
Amazing tour, fabulous food and such rich culture and history! What more can I say other than this is turning out to be a trip of a lifetime and I have just begun!
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