OK, so no one is arguing that hummus isn’t a precious gift…
…but there’s a lot more to Israeli cuisine that you had no idea you’ve been craving! Until now…
Poached eggs in pepper and tomato sauce with fresh parsley usually served for breakfast or brunch.
2. Halloumi Cheese
Originally of Greek and Turkish origin, this goat and sheep’s milk cheese has a high melting point and can be served grilled or fried. In Israel, it’s usually the featured item on a salad or kebab skewer.
3. Cactus Fruit
Sweet and juicy, cactus fruit can be eaten as is or turned into candy, jelly, and even vodka!
Recently gaining global popularity, this deep-fried chickpea delicacy is as common in Israel as burgers are in America.
5. Israeli Schnitzel
What sets Israeli schnitzel apart from German schnitzel is the use of chicken or turkey breast as opposed to pork. Deep fried to golden perfection, schnitzel is surprisingly complemented by our old friend, hummus.
Less dense than an average donut, this pastry is filled with jelly (or sometimes custard), deep fried, and finished off with an abundance of powdered sugar. This melt-in-your-mouth dessert is a kid favorite around the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Georgian by tradition, khachapuri has been making the rounds in the Israeli brunch scene. The boat-shaped bread is stuffed with butter, cheese, and sunny-side-up egg. The best part? Easy cleanup!
8. Israeli Couscous
Known in Israel as “ptitim,” this pearl-shaped pasta can be dressed up a thousand different ways. From vegetables to dried fruit and nuts, Israeli couscous can be served on its own or as an accompaniment to fish or meat.
Constructed of phyllo dough or puff pastry, Israeli bourekas are usually filled with savory cheese, mashed potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, and sometimes even pizza filling (think of it as a gourmet Pizza Roll).
10. Challah Bread
Sweeter than your regular bread, challah comes in every form imaginable: braided, rolled, sliced, and as the best French toast you’ve ever had.
Pocketed in a delicious pita and topped with tahini, shawarma is an Arabic style of cooking meat where lamb, chicken, turkey, or beef are skewered on a spit and slowly cooked on a rotating grill.
Like a croissant’s baby brother, this finger dessert can be found next to almost any cup of coffee in Israel. And with all the filling options, it’s no surprise! Anyone up for some chocolate, raspberry, cinnamon, marzipan, walnut, raisin, or poppyseed rugelach?
Labneh is simply a more consistent form of Greek yogurt and can be found as a condiment on many Israeli street foods, including savory crêpes.
Mostly popular around Hanukkah, this shallow-fried potato pancake can be served as an appetizer (if topped with sour cream or cottage cheese) and a dessert (if topped with apple sauce, jam, or sugar).
Stuffed with ground meat and a variety of herbs, this savory croquette is an excellent base for tahini, hummus, and grilled eggplant spread.
Shishlik is not your average street meat. Marinated overnight and fast-charred on a grill called a “mangal,” shishlik is a street meat worthy of any sit-down restaurant.
17. Baba Ghanoush
In order to make this spread, a whole eggplant is baked or broiled over an open flame. Once peeled, the eggplant is puréed with a tahini or mayo base and served with pita bread at the start of a meal.
There’s nothing dated about this traditional Jewish stew. Simmered overnight for 12 hours, the chicken, beef, potato, bean, vegetable, and barley stew serves as the ultimate comfort (or hangover) food.