Guest Post: Israeli Food Through a Dietitians Lens – Gemma Critchley July 15, 2014 Middle East, nutrition Hi there, Given I am heading over to Israel next week to join my parents and see my sister for the first time in over 18 months (so excited!), I thought it was only fitting that I share with you all a guest post from a fellow dietitian, Gemma Critchley who I have connected with through social media channels over the years, who has also just recently visited there! Gemma is going to share with you all some of the food and nutrition related experiences that she encountered during her travels which really stood out to her. This post is particularly aimed at those of you who have never been to Israel, or are merely interested to see the world through a dietitians lens for a moment! So here we go… I welcome Gemma to the spotlight.. Hi! I recently visited lsrael for the first time while attending a nutrition conference in Jerusalem. These are a few things that stood out to me about the food I experienced there. Portion sizes The enormous portion size of every meal really shocked me. First it was a quiche which could have fed me four times and must have contained at least 10 eggs. Another evening it was bowls of hummus with pitta breads and falafel at a small restaurant recommended by a local. The waitress convinced us that the bowls of hummus weren’t that big, and that if we all ordered a bowl each (with toppings of choice) we would get free hummus refills. Did we eat all of our hummus? No! Each bowl must have contained about 500g of (delicious) hummus which I managed to get through maybe half of. I quickly got a photo of one bowl and the pita breads they came with before everyone dug in. Apparently the record was someone who had eaten 13 bowls of hummus in one sitting! I wonder if they still like hummus or not?! Spices I loved the aromatic market stalls full of wooden bowls heaped with fragrant spices of all shapes and colours. Some were familiar, others were completely foreign. At one stall I visited, the owner kindly explained how you could use all the spices, what sorts of meats or vegetables they suited when cooking. He encouraged me to taste them so I willingly obliged, picking the ones I liked best to take home with me and add to my ever growing spice collection. Tea & Coffee Not only were the market stalls full of spices, but they also sold a huge variety of dried tea. Like with the spices I’d take a pinch to sniff, admiring the colours and flower petals they contained. I decided on a tub of peach tea to take home with the intention of making it into iced tea for a refreshing drink over the summer. Fresh orange juice On a hot summer’s day (especially when you haven’t eaten in a while and are susceptible to low blood sugar levels), there is nothing as amazing as freshly pressed orange juice. I bought a cupful from a vender who kept his oranges in the fridge so they were icy cold and super refreshing! Street food I love checking out street food in different countries seeing whats on offer, and the interactions made between people. One scene that made me smile was the bronzed baker leaning over his cart covered in long sesame covered breads, cigarette hanging from his lips. The mothers would be haggling with him as they purchased the bread, kids in tow surrounding the cart covered in baked goods. Bread, yellow dough balls which looked like they contained fruit, falafel. All could be bought from his wooden cart. Other vendors sold beans, or hot, freshly roasted corn on the cob. Inside the maze of covered markets, falafel was served with vegetables dyed in shocking hues of yellow and vivid purple. I did try falafel in pita with salad, hummus and some vibrant picked red cabbage but I found the fermented flavour of the cabbage wasn’t quite to my taste and ended up taking the rest off after the first bite! You can read more about my experience in Jerusalem by visiting http://dietitianwithoutborders.com/jerusalem/ Social Media www.facebook.com/dietitianwithoutborders www.instagram.com/dietitianwithoutborders www.twitter.com/dietnoborders Kara’s back – Thanks Gemma, its always nice to see what my colleagues find on their overseas adventures as well! I hope for those of you that haven’t ventured to this amazing part of the globe that you can see just how amazing the food is! I for one am a HUGE fan of all the fresh spices and the market stalls there (lucky for me, Ill be there next week!). For now, TD x Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window) Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.