Snapshots of Israel

June 6, 2015


I cannot write about Israel properly, for now at least, because my trip there was problematic. It’s a long story. Reaaaally long. For now then I’ll just share some snaps and brief comments. I hope you enjoy them!


The sabich: an Israeli sandwich described to me as ‘the only true Israeli food’. A fuffy pitta is filled with fried aubergine, egg, potato, herbs, pickles, hummus and a mango sauce called ‘amba’. The counter displayed an impressive selection of pickles, and fresh lemonade arrived alongside, gratis (at Sabich Frishman).

IsraelJerusalemIsraelThe market in Jerusalem.JerusalemIsraelJerusalemChurch of the holy sepulchreInside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – considered to be the site of the crucifixion and the location of the tomb of Jesus.

Above: the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall), which surrounds Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. You can see that people are praying and crying. They write down wishes on pieces of paper, then stuff them into the cracks in the wall. When they’re done, they reverse away from the wall to avoid turning their backs on it. The men pray in a separate area.

Israel MarketIsraelMarket

Those green pods on the right are fresh chickpeas, something I’d never come across before. You can eat them right from the shell.


Candied kiwis and giant blocks of halva.


The machine on the left is making tahini. The large stone grinds the sesame seeds and the puree comes out of the spout at the front.

IsraelIsraelTel AvivIsrael

The market in Tel Aviv.


The flea market in Jaffa.


Stuffed flatbread, stew and shakshuka. I now know how to make a really mean shakshuka which puts all previous efforts to shame. Recipe soon.


A beautiful door in Jaffa.


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  • Reply Joanna Biddolph June 7, 2015 at 1:20 pm

    This is the most beautiful, evocative and mouthwatering, post I have ever seen and I don’t mean on your blog. You’ve captured moments of life it’s made me want to get on a plane to a place I’ve never wanted to visit. (On a different note … the photo of halva … the background picture … David Dimbleby!)

    • Reply Helen June 7, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      David Dimbleby! Ha ha! Thanks so much for your lovely comments, Joanna, I’m really chuffed.

  • Reply Motherbetic June 7, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Wow it look amazing. Lots of veggies etc. Is there not much meat for sale? Do people there mainly eat a veggie diet with little meat?

    • Reply Helen June 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Yes they do. Meals are mostly if not entirely vegetarian with perhaps one or two meat elements. The veggies are so beautiful aren’t they?

  • Reply Claire June 7, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    Such lovely photos – I’m looking forward to hearing the full story.

    As I looked at the machine for making tahini I thought to myself “that looks much like the one they use in Beijing to make Chinese sesame paste”. It took me 10 seconds to have the “duh” moment (G&T on a Sunday evening ;-))

  • Reply Cate June 8, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Such wonderful, evocative pictures, I’m really keen to learn more about your trip as now I am living in Europe (instead of distant Australia) a trip to Europe and Northern Africa is definitely on the cards

    • Reply Helen June 8, 2015 at 8:34 pm

      Thanks Cate!

  • Reply caroline June 9, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    I concur – the shots are brilliant – I’ve never thought of going to Jerusalem but this post makes me REALLY want to! Looking forward to hearing the story of the “problematic” visit (how intriguing!) and the recipes!

    • Reply Helen June 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks Caroline. I have so many new recipe ideas.

  • Reply Niamh June 25, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Gorgeous photos, Helen! Lovely piece 🙂

    • Reply Helen June 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks Niamh!

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