Nov 16, 2010

Little Country, Big Appetite by Andrea Mann

I was relaxing on the gorgeous sandy Tel Aviv beach, enjoying the 90 degree cloudless skies in November, and skimming an article in Glamour Magazine about a blogger who took on a difficult weeklong food-frenzy mission. She had promised Glamour to only eat foods advertised on TV for an entire week and after about four days of sugary doughnuts, over-salted fast food, and processed frozen meals, she reported, “I had 2 hunger modes: (1) Desperately starving and (2) uncomfortably stuffed." Well, as I read this article, I too was recovering from a self-induced food coma. So, Glamour blogger, welcome to my life.

Israel may only be 8,000 square miles and not much larger than the state of New Jersey, but judging by the portion sizes at restaurants, I could easily mistake my locale for Texas. Prior to living in Tel Aviv, I thought big portions was a very Americanized concept. I can now attest to the fact that Tel Aviv restaurants have outdone American restaurants.

Take the Israeli breakfast for example. In America, it’s common to speed through the drive-thru for an Egg McMuffin that you will scarf down while sitting in highway traffic on your way to work. But in Israel, breakfast is serious business. Every caf√© in Israel is sure to have some variation of the standard Israeli Breakfast on their menu and it is most likely served all day long. A typical Israeli Breakfast consists of: eggs prepared by your choice, an Israeli salad (finely diced tomatoes, onion, cucumber, parsley), an entire loaf of freshly baked bread accompanied with an assortment of spreads (butter, cream cheese, feta, laboneh, guacamole, tuna, olives, jam), a shot of yogurt, a freshly squeezed juice of your choice, and a hot beverage. And yes, as proved by the additional “Israeli Breakfast for Two” item on the menu, the standard Israeli Breakfast is meant for just one person.

While it’s easily sharable (and I recommend that you do), I had woken up in hunger mode #1, “Desperately Starving”, and felt the need to immediately satiate my growling stomach by driving into hunger mode #2, “Uncomfortably stuffed”, so I opted to order the wonderful Israeli Breakfast from Saquella’s for myself.

Having previously lived in Barcelona where tapas (you know, those teeeeeny-tinyyyy little bite size things) were the cities claim-to-fame, I must admit that I love eating in Tel Aviv. Between the Israeli take on bagels, in which the circumference closely resembles that of a plate, the all-you-can-eat replenishable pita and hummus at local hummus joints like Abu Dubi, and the mezze salads that are often set on the table before you even open your menu, what's not to love? 

Since moving to Tel Aviv, the terms "Food Baby" and "Food Coma" have officially entered my everyday vocabulary.

1 comment:

  1. I stopped concentrating after I read 90 degrees!!! Great article!