Written by Chelsea Truesdell
You are guaranteed to find the best pastry in Tel Aviv, Israel in an unassuming bakery on 39 Bograshov named Kurtosh. You may walk right past this sliver of Bograshov unless you are drawn in by the smell of the fresh pastries being baked in the front window. I stumbled upon Kurtosh when I was famished walking to the beach on hot Thursday afternoon. I was in that mood where I could eat a cow but for some reason nothing was sounding appetizing to me. When I walked past Kurtosh I stopped dead in my tracks after the smell of sweet breads filled my nostrils. I had found exactly what I wanted.
Inside the little shop was one case lined with long Hungarian pastries known as “Kurtosh.” Along with these milky, caramel-coated hollow pastries, there were white-chocolate sweet strudels, chocolate-chip cakes, traditional Israeli cookies, and savory cheese strudels.
I knew I wanted something salty but I couldn’t pass up a taste of the sweet pastries teasing me behind the case. The young man behind the counter saw my mouth watering and laughed as he handed me a sample slice of the strudel. The sweet strudels made here are reason alone to come. They are baked in the style of rugelach, where the rich chocolate filling is folded between the layers of sweet dough. When you bite into this soft and sticky pastry, every layer hides a dulcet ingredient- milk chocolate filling, white chocolate drizzle, a light dusting of halva.
All these flavors came together in this moist cake-like dessert to create a flavor explosion in my mouth which I have yet to find in any Tel Aviv restaurants.
If the sweet strudel isn’t enough to draw you in, the “salty strudel” will do the trick. This was the pastry I ended up getting and I couldn’t have been happier. It was truly the kind of meal where you can’t help but say “Oh. My. G-d.” after every bite. The outside was a golden brown flaky dough topped with fresh poppy seeds. On the inside awaited a thick filling of feta cheese and sweet roasted red peppers ready to melt in my mouth. The combination of the sweet peppers and feta created the perfect blend of sweet and salty. I paid him the eighteen shekels and scarfed down my strudel, which provided me with the biggest smile the rest of the day.
All these affordable and mouth-watering pastries lie in the tiny Tel Aviv restaurant of Kurtosh on Bograshov, waiting to be properly enjoyed. I promise you won’t be disappointed, no matter what you order. Be prepared to go with an empty stomach because I can guarantee once you try one, you will want to order the entire case.