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What’s in Season in Israel?

What’s in Season in Israel?

olive-treeWhat’s in season in Israel? And more to the point, look where and what should I eat? After a too-long 30 years, I’m heading back to the land where my parents grew up, met and married, and then left to study and settle in the U.S.

My desire to return to Israel was there, but blame the kids for the destination not staying in the number one slot. Three children going to college and grad schools in interesting places, then their jobs in interesting places we wanted to visit—Japan! Cambodia! Vietnam!—a couple of weddings, grandkids, family illnesses and passings here and in Israel. That’s how 30 years can pass in the blink of an eye.

Why now, finally? Well, time waits for no culinarian, and the ability to reconnect with a more immediate family food history through primary sources is dwindling fast.

And then there’s this: I’m writing a new cookbook about seasonal Jewish cooking. You probably think I’ve buried my lede, but I’m happy with this “soft open” as they say in the restaurant biz. I’m deep in book-writing mode, creative cookery juices flowing, with the book to be published by Sterling Publishing in fall of 2015.

My new book will explore the global diversity that is “Jewish food,” a book in which seasonal, farmers’ market, Jewish, and biblical converge. If you already know my food, you’ve already been enjoying and exploring the flavors of my past. I hope you’ll come with me on this journey of deeper discovery.

In the meantime, do you know about something I must taste, see or do while I’m in Israel? Please comment below. I’d love to get your ideas! 


By | 2016-11-18T00:58:52+00:00 May 5th, 2014|Categories: Culinary History, Jewish, Travel|Tags: , , , , |10 Comments


  1. Ruth mason May 6, 2014 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Hi Amelia. My old friend gill Grebler sent me this in a manner that made me feel u know her. I live in jerusalem, bukharian parentage, working on a memoir with recipes ( my moms cooking). Seems like we should meet. You can taste fava beans, chard, all kinds if lettuces, sorrel, artichokes etc in our organic garden. There are lots if csa’s now and at least two farmers markets within walking distance of my house plus artisan cheese stuff on nearby farms. Email me.

  2. Alison May 9, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    This looks like a great trip!

  3. Julie Levine, May 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Manta Ray and Hotel Montifiore in Tel Aviv
    Mona in Jerusalem
    Israel Museum is phenomenal

    We should collaborate! I’d love to feature your new book on my blog.

  4. Joan Isaacs May 9, 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    Definitely eat at the Montefiore Hotel in Tel Aviv! And have a great trip!

  5. Judi Epstein May 9, 2014 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Try Pini’s on Emek Rafaim in the German Colony. Very interesting food and delicious, as well!

  6. Lisa Lenthall May 9, 2014 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    This museum will be high on my list for my next visit:

  7. Lindsay Williambrown May 9, 2014 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    You should be able to get young wheat (freekah) quite easily there, yes? That could be very handy because you don’t need to add any heat to it to reconstitute – it will plump up for you in 20-30 minutes with cold water, so it’s great for lightweight day travel or nonperishable in-room foraging. I had some couscous recently in Japan that was served with dried blueberries, pesto, baby tomatoes, and a nice buffalo mozzarella [obviously I was at a Euro joint that day:D]. I dodged the cheese, myself, and usually forgo couscous since it’s not always all that interesting, but the combo was a delight the likes of which were immense and deep and surprising! You should be able to get analogs of all that in season right now and use the freekah for it, which will be better for the belly and yummier as well. Might be a good jumping-off point to capture sweet + savory + comfort all in one.

    So glad my colleague referred me to your blog – beautiful! Looking forward to running into you and changing my farm market sources from IL to SaMo when I move later this summer. Safe travels and blessings on your trip! Look forward to checking back in to hook my clients from my recipe blog into your book…not everybody’s raw vegan so this will be great for my transitioners exploring the exciting world of vegetables! If you ever do any sprouting or like the fresh vegan scene, would love your thoughts on it…

    Take care!

  8. Psychiatrists in Chennai May 19, 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply

    It is a informative post , thanks for sharing

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