Discover the essential spices of Israeli cuisine

“Cook the meat well, mix in the spices… the leeks, the onions, and the garlic… he scatters dill and sows cumin…” Ezek. 24, Num. 11, Is. 28

Spices have long been a part of the history of the Middle East. The environment and climate of the Levant region are perfect for growing a vast variety of herbs that lend unique tastes and form the basis of many traditional dishes that are still enjoyed today. Spices are used widely in Israeli food. From the fresh taste of parsley, to spicy cumin, Israelis love to cook with a range of spices and herbs.

Last year we visited Off the Wall in the Jewish Quarter of Old City Jerusalem, and discovered the best of Israeli spice. Off the Wall sells products from boutique and family-owned businesses, located in Judea and Samaria. The spices fill the shop with delightful scents, and a brilliant array of colors.

One very popular Middle Eastern spice is Za’atar, made from hyssop, thyme and sumac. Za’atar has many uses. It tastes great sprinkled on roasted vegetables or salads, in dips and spreads, and as a mouthwatering seasoning for beef, chicken, lamb or fish.

You haven’t had Middle Eastern food until you’ve had a Shawarma dish. Shawarma is made of thinly sliced, seasoned lamb and beef cooked on a vertical spit, served in a flatbread wrap or plated with vegetables. At the core of this amazing dish are the spices used to season the meat beforehand. You can bring the wonderful taste of this dish into your home with our Shawarma spice.

In addition to these spices, we have two different spice mixes for you to try next time you cook up some rice. The Israeli rice mix incorporates onions, lentils, almonds, and raisins for a perfect combination of nutty/savory and sweet flavors. Or try the Moroccan style rice mix. Moroccan Jews comprise the second largest Jewish community in Israel, so it’s no surprise that delicious Moroccan cuisine is very prevalent. This spice combines onion and dill with bell peppers for a traditional and delicious mix.

Our last spice is one to give your salads the perfect finish. The Jerusalem Salad Mix tastes amazing in Israeli Salad—a chopped salad made of finely diced tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, and peppers—but is wonderful in any salad you add it to.

Add the taste of Israel to your meals today!

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