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.