If you’ve never eaten an Ataulfo mango, stop what you’re doing and buy one because you’ve missed something very special. There’s a reason this fruit is also called the “champagne mango.” Its sweet, incredibly luscious flesh is something to celebrate.
At pretty much any cafe you stop by in Jerusalem (and plenty of meat restaurants as well), you'll see shakshuka on the menu? What is it? A dish of North African origin, that consists of eggs cooked in a spicy tomato sauce. Sounds simple? It is, but its delicious, cheap and great for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Growing up in Barcelona in a Jewish/Lebanese household, we were lucky to be exposed to an amazing fusion of cuisines that sparked our interest in food at a very young age. We had the chance to enjoy an incredible array of herbs, spices, flavors and textures that we still remember and use to this day.
Almost every ingredient, flavor and recipe we use today has a memory attached to it. And that is something we treasure immensely, now that we live in a town on the east coast, so far away from home.
A feast for the eyes and the taste buds, “Jerusalem: A Cookbook,” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi is inspiring, and easy to use. The pictures of the food and people of Jerusalem capture the spirit of the Old City – you can almost hear the Hebrew and Arabic and smell the mountains of spices.
You could be forgiven for not knowing that May 13 is International Hummus Day. That's because it's only been so for a year, and it's only so at all because in 2012 a young Israeli tech entrepreneur named Ben Lang decided it should be. His idea, according to the Times of Israel, was that hummus is sufficiently beloved by the peoples of the fractious Middle East that it can serve as a source of unity.
The best thing I ever ate was a crepe off of a food truck in Paris. Perhaps it was because I consumed it at the fourth meal hour of 3:00 a.m., but I still dream of the soft yet slightly crunchy crepe oozing lots of gooey cheeses and fresh spinach. Once I started cooking Jewish cuisine for a living, I realized my beloved crepe was really just the French equivalent of Bubbe’s classic cheese blintzes.
Shavuot is upon us, and this holiday always reminds me of two things: dairy, and turning thirteen. One reason we eat dairy on Shavuot is in recognition of the Israelites receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. They instantly had to adopt the laws of kashrut, but without the necessary instruments to slaughter and prepare kosher meat, they opted for dairy – though they probably didn’t have the holy experience of tasting snickerdoodle cheesecakes.
Imagine if everything in life could be broken down into three skill levels from a simple task, to one made simpler, to the simplest of all. I’ve taken that concept and applied it to cooking. Let's use basketball as a handy metaphor. A simple recipe could easily be mastered by Kobe Bryant, while a simpler recipe might be handled by a varsity ball player and the simplest recipe by a toddler learning to dribble! That's the concept behind Simple, Simpler, Simplest.
Chicken with strawberry balsamic jam or curried sweet potato borekas might not be what first comes to mind when thinking about a traditional kosher menu, but at 12 Tribes in San Francisco, innovative dishes like that are the norm. As a kosher catering company whose motto is “seasonally delicious, happens to be kosher” 12 Tribes is right at home in the San Francisco Bay Area where seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced food are a major part of the food ethos.
From humble beginnings washing dishes at a local restaurant in Long Island, New York, chef Jay Weinstein has made a name for himself in the culinary world. Weinstein has written three food and cook books and teaches at the Natural Gourmet Institute where he recently held a class on cooking “kosher with confidence.” The Jewish Week spoke with Weinstein about his passion for food, the ethics of eating and the best bite in New York.