BBQ in Israel
Just last week, I was on a business trip to Tel Aviv in Israel. Tel Aviv is the second biggest city in Israel with a population of about 400 thousand people. It’s located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in central west Israel. There’s a lovely promenade along the beach, follow it far enough along and you’ll get to the ancient city of Jaffa which is only about 2.5 kilometres away. Even in November it enjoys balmy temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius and a pleasant sea breeze. In Israel, they say Jerusalem is the religious city, Haifa is the working city, and Tel Aviv is the party city!
It was while I was walking along this promenade, just after dusk, that I came across this impromptu Israeli barbecuer! It was the warm glow of a rising flame and the orange embers, caught by the wind as he turned his food, that first caught my eye. What a great introduction to BBQ in Israel! Not speaking any Hebrew, I made the international sign for “Can I take a photo of your barbecue?” and he nodded in the affirmative. I hastily took a photo of the man and his grill (you can see his wife in the background bidding a hasty retreat), and then I moved in to take a closer shot of what he was actually cooking. Looks like it was burgers and chicken pieces! Not surprising in a country that does not eat pork, there were no sausages or pork ribs on the grill!
Showing an “insane” interest in his BBQ, this gentleman was kind enough to signal to me that I could try some! I politely refused and almost immediately regretted it. I guess I’ll never know how those Israeli burgers tasted!
Earlier that day, I had visited Carmel market. It’s the largest bazaar in Tel Aviv where where you can buy all sorts of fruit, vegetables, spices and meat. Needless to say it’s awash with colour and atmosphere. I bought two containers of paprika, the spicy and sweet varieties. Perhaps the next recipe to feature on BBQInsanity.com should be paprika based!