July 11, 2011

Epicurean Adventures

I have a lot of images here...so I'm just going to dive in and tell you about each one. 

Well, not dive. Jump. Did you know that I can't dive. Never learned. I love to swim, but for some reason diving terrifies me. The End.

Lunch in the market. Is there a place on this planet that does not serve coke? Shawarma and falafel every day. But I really loved the Shawarma so it was okay. 
They fill the pita with the yummy meat (think gyro) and the cucumbers, cabbage and tehina or hummus. 
(Mike and Dixie)

Gas station. They sell A LOT of hard liquor in gas stations. And the touristy buffets. There were bottles of vodka, rum and wine next to the milk and lemonade. 

Amazing bread thingers. They call them bagelas and they do look like stretched out bagels but taste so much better. Think fresh, crusty bread with toasted sesame seeds.

There were carts selling them all over the place, every corner. 
When you buy one they give you a baggy with an herb mix in it that you can sprinkle on the bagelas. It was a mix of hyssop, salt and sesame seeds. And it was UH-MAZING. I've never had hyssop before. It's a strong flavor but very good. 


Another cart with bagelas, falafel some other bread thing. 

It was rough having celiac there. I wanted to try all the different breads. I just had small tastes of each new thing and hoped for the best :-) It was worth it. 

This is the buffet at our hotel in Jerusalem. It was rather amazing. So much food. And it was all pretty much good. I'll admit that I was nervous about what the food would be like before arriving.

There were sooo many salads...and at breakfast. Weird eh? But quite yummy. The hotels were Kosher. Breakfast was the dairy meal, dinner was the meat meal. Fish is not a meat so there was a lot of fish at breakfast. There was a lot of cheese and other creamy things at dinner though...no idea what they were actually made of. Our guide said that Jews have become experts at faking foods :-)

They are really big on pickling things...which i don't love...but there were a lot of other things as well.

The salad bar at breakfast and dinner consisted of: tuna salad, egg salad, fruit salads, Matthais fish, herring, smoked salmon (yum!!), a huge olive bar, dates, cheeses galore (5% cottage cheese. Did they add fat to it? I thought 4% was the top end), prune compote, peach compote, baked cheese cake, hard-boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes with basil, spanish eggplant, grilled eggplant, romanian eggplant, greek eggplant (did you know that there was more than one kind of eggplant? and more than one way to prepare it?!?!) Tehina with eggplant, grilled pepper salad, chinese veggie salad, waldorf salad, pickles, humus (yum) tehina, moroccan carrots, grated carrots with garlic and mint, matbucha salad, red beet salad, cabbage with lemon caraway, Lebanese tabulle, fennel salad, avocado salad, Arabic veggie salad, cucumber with dill, pesto zucchini, carmaelized pumpkin salad, marinated mushroom salad, German potato salad and fried hot peppers. PLUS an "American" type salad bar with all the stuff you would normall see on a salad bar. 

Then you move on to the hot food. Egads. They always had rice and at least one dish with each meat (no pork or shellfish obviously). They had these stuffed roast beef roll type things that I tried (told you, i tried everything) thinking that the stuffing would be cheese or veggies...nope, more beef. It was beef stuffed beef...
Chicken on the left, rice on the right. I loved the rice. They always add in pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews and sometimes raisins. It was delicious. 

They love their schnitzel there. Who knew.

On the far left is the St. Peter's fish. It was yummy. Keep this in mind later on in this post. 

The dessert bar was always lovely. Their desserts are not as sweet as ours, which i liked actually. And the texture is a bit off as there is no dairy in them, all substitutes. Tons of fruit though with honey. They use a lot of honey and a lot of pistachios. Both of which, i adore. 

This was my favorite treat there. Knafe bil jibne. It's a mild goat cheese (very mild) stuffed in knafe, rolled in butter (only not butter if it's dinner...), baked and smothered in an amazing rose water syrup. With pistachios on top (because why not?).

This is just a pretty baked pear with compote and caramel. 

THIS. Is ice cream. It was really good. I was nervous. It was served at dinner...so no dairy. What is it made of? I have no idea. But it was cold and creamy and had a delicious fruit compote on top. So i ate it. 

This is chocolate rugelach. YUM! Again, i just had a bite. But YUM. They sell it on the streets on huge trays. Piping hot and smelling heavenly. 

My great group eating at the hotel in Galilee. 

Shawarma at a different place, with more odd salad things to add. Pickles and carrots and hummus this time. At one place they shoved french fries in there... I'm guessing they do that for the Americans? Not sure. 

This was a third option at some places (besides shawarma and falafel). Schnitzel. In a pita :-)

This is what our bus driver and guide ate most days. They said that it's what most locals eat daily. It is  finely chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, fresh lemon juice, olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper for seasoning. And that's all she wrote. But it was tasty. Yes Mom, i tried it. 

The last night there we at a traditional Arab meal at a restaurant outside Tel Aviv and I ordered the St. Peter fish as it was so yummy at the hotel. 

As a reminder, here is the fish I was picturing:

And here is what they brought me:


More on that later. 


Jayne said...

he he he:) You make me chuckle.
I love love love that you posted about the food, because that would totally scare me too! Going to a foreign country for that long? I would be afraid. Looks like you survived beautifully though.

Who is the knockoutly stunning lady who appears in most of your photos (the ones with people in them)? She is so glamorous! And also looks like the sweetest lady ever. I mean, who gets away with wearing a hat like that? She does. Looks killer on her.

P.S. I will teach you how to dive. This you can and will do.

BUSH BABE said...

Mouth. Totally. Watering... great record of your gastronomic adventures!!

Kate said...

I really was nervous Jayne! I want to visit Japan too...but the food scares me.

And that is Dixie Munsee. Isn't she lovely? I was so surprised to see her and Mike at the airport, i had no idea they were going on the trip. Mike was our Bishop in Mt. Green. She has always been beautiful, and hasn't aged all. Probably because she is smart and wears hats...unlike me who was out roasting in the Israeli sun.

Sue said...

Wow. Amazing looking food.Even the whole fish. I'll bet that freaked you out:_