We eat the food, then we do the things.

One of the things we decided when we made aliyah was that we were going to try live as Israelis as much as possible. In particular food. We decided to buy and eat Israeli products as much as we could. 

One, buying imported things is expensive. 

Two, support the local economy.

Three, the kids are growing up Israeli, they need to be comfortable eating foods we may not have eaten in South Africa.

All of this is not to say we don’t eat the same foods we used to eat in South Africa. I’m yet to see cottage pie on a restaurant menu but we often have it for dinner. 

Israelis also tend to eat larger, heavier meals at lunch and smaller, lighter meals at dinner time. We still eat a proper cooked meal for dinner, mostly, this summer we have tried eating lighter, smaller meals at night.

All this brings me to things that we don’t/cant buy here (there is one big store that imports food stuffs from SA and Australia and the UK, but it is hellishly expensive). Things that I miss. Things that I have asked people to bring me and that I hoard and cherish like a certain gold ring.

  • Anita mentioned on Facebook, samp, which I haven’t had in years and now have a hectic craving for. 
  • Along with samp, is a good stiff pap with tomato gravy. You can buy polenta here but its just not the same.
  • Boerewors. I’ve had locally prepared boeries but its just not the same. The meat here is very different to SA and you can tell.
  • Peppermint Crisp. Anybody who visits has to bring me at least 1 slab. 
  • Five Roses Tea. Israeli black tea is rather weak. At least that’s my opinion. I love a good cup of Five Roses. 
  • Biltong. I actually have a biltong maker, I just need to figure out what’s the best cut of meat to use so I can make some.
  • Mrs Ball’s Chutney. I dont even really like chutney but I use to use it for cooking. Maybe I should try make my own…

All in all I think we manage just fine using local products and ingredients. And I don’t really miss anything to point of agonising over not having it. But I wouldn’t say no, if someone gave me any of the above.

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Photo taken by Paul in 2005 (I cannot for the life of me remember which game reserve it was)

6 Replies to “We eat the food, then we do the things.”

  1. I’d miss:

    Woolworths mild mango atchar
    Crosse & Blackwell Mayonaisse

    And non-food related: Dischem, being able to buy lots of drugs without a prescription, some countries are so strict.

    I can’t believe you miss boerewors, it’s not sausage lol! We live in SA and miss proper sausage, but have thankfully found a german butcher in JHB who makes delicious, authentic sausage which we courier down to Durban.

    I can only dream of homemade pasta, your family is lucky mmmmm.

    I’m interested, what are some of the foods you eat there which you didn’t eat in SA?

    1. Boeries is really the only ‘sausage’ I like. Would rather have a steak or a chop than a sausage 🙂

      We eat a lot of falafel and shakshuka which we hardly ever ate in SA (maybe once a year at most).

      Salatim and pita are a regular meal too. Salatim are a variety of cold ‘salads’ including, humus, fried eggplant mashed with mayo, roast beet salad, matbucha (a spicy tomato puree), Moroccan carrots, techina, chopped Israeli salad and more. All served with fresh pita. Its a meal on its own.

      Kebab – which is not meat on a stick, more like a ‘sausage’ of minced meat with herbs and spices and usually cooked on braai.

      Oh and lots of couscous 🙂

  2. I love falafels 🙂 and the kebab sounds good, similar to a serbian dish.

    Interesting hey, Israeli food sounds very moroccan/mediterranean. I’d eat it 🙂

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