Eating my way through Israel

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Oh hey, internet. Remember me? It's been awhile.

If you've forgotten about me, allow me to jog your memory. My name is Sarah, I'm 26 years old, I live in Western NYS, and I like long walks on the beach. I am recently engaged, and I spent two amazing weeks this summer on a Birthright trip in Israel, which is the main reason I've been so bad at blogging. Firstly, you know, being out of the country makes it difficult.

And secondly, when you are gone for 15 days you come back to a LOT of stuff piled on your desk, and some unhappy coworkers who are angry at you for extending your trip an additional four days without notifying them. I also had to juggle jet lag, a huge pile of laundry, a book that needs to be published, 2k photos that had to be edited, a wedding to plan, Bioshock Infinite that needs playing, TV to catch up on, and battling depression from missing all of my new friends.

And the food.

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Oh, man. The food.

I love the food there. Granted, I got pretty sick of it by the end of the trip, but now that I'm home and can't find authentic Israeli food I miss it like crazy. You can see more of my pictures on FB, but for now I'll walk you through some of the different foodie adventures I had!

10530765_10202836736744083_7937800979033206851_nFirst up is Shawarma. Made famous by Robert Downey JR in the Avengers, Shawarma is awesome. 10411008_10202895602375687_3008836517927407288_n

See that log of meat roasting in the back there? That's shawarma. They shave the meat into a pita (which are nothing like the stale, brittle pitas we have here. In Israel they are like fluffy clouds). The meat is typically turkey, and you can get it made with all sorts of sauces and vegetables. These top three pictures were taken in Tsefat.

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This is a falafel pita. You can't see the falafel, but what you CAN see is the french fries and delicious sauces and hummus on top. I got this after Shabbat in Neharia.

10417644_10202896129228858_8024421085064431282_n10556529_10202895410530891_5389649167482308700_nThis beautiful dish before you is Shakshouka, which is typically a breakfast food. It's eggs poached directly in the spicy tomato sauce, hence why it's served in metal dishes. The one on the bottom is served on hummus, and you spoon it all into a pita. The one on top, which I got in Tel Aviv, came with a fresh loaf of challah.

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So this one was delicious. It was served in the Bedoin tents in the Negev desert. Bedouins are like desert nomads, and it was a neat experience to drive to the middle of nowhere, ride some camels, roast some S'Mores, go star gazing, and sleep in a giant, stinky tent.

The food was amazing though, because it was simple. Rice with chicken, potatoes in the foil, pitas, hummus, tahini, and some superfluous green veggies that I ignored. Like many meals, you pile everything into a pita and devour it. You sit at these little triangles on the ground, and they place this tray in front of you. You get intimate conversation and a weird crick in your back, but it was one of the best experiences I had.

Plus, I got to teach my Israeli tour guide all sorts of inappropriate English words 🙂

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Ok, drinks. Top one is Limonana, which is so refreshing. It's lemonade with lots of crushed basil, and reminds me of a mohito. Then we have iced coffee, which I despise, being coffee and all, but this is what got people through the trip. At the bottom we have GoldStar, an Israeli beer that I didn't hate (surprise!), although I mostly drank it because liquor was SO EXPENSIVE.

What else....

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I went to the dead sea! It was unpleasant, and the mud smelled like butt. We had fun though.

10402950_10202895227566317_4206142530102707354_n1978764_10202895227726321_1073678241561475789_n10606530_10202895227966327_3911897260861545619_nIraqi food from the Jerusalem Market, that was fun, and delicious. More fluffy pitas.

BAM!
10568851_10202883466192290_7513291455288203361_nWho's that world traveler? It's me, standing in front of Jerusalem like it's no big deal. Like I'm not about to go to the Holocaust Memorial and cry my little eyes out.

10522610_10202896128988852_941947169863167567_nFrom a fancy restaurant in Jaffa, just outside of Tel Aviv. We paid lots of shekels for this meal, and the portions were so tiny. But the food was so good that we didn't complain.

I'll wrap things up here in a bit, just a few more pictures. 10553375_10202895174604993_1991605864970376767_n

Fresh fruit was everywhere, and you could always get freshly squeezed juice.10557204_10153067244018502_1834994977065869669_n

We went to a goat and sheep farm in the dessert. I was the first person to run inside when she said there were free samples. Also I pet some goats. And some sheep. 10559850_10153067243448502_2006548403830637402_n10475319_10202895602415688_8129938659251671956_n

I'm on a mountain!10294235_10202895449291860_4847548435458198118_nI'm near a camel!

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Ok. last picture. This, my friends, is shokobo. It is a chocolate bar, inside chocolate ice cream, inside a chocolate shell. It's genius, and I love it.

I ate a million other things, and I don't have pictures of all of them, but the good news is that I spent a lot of money on an Israeli cookbook and I'm so excited to cook things for you and post the recipes!!!

So stay turned for those. I promise I won't wait another month to post again.

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