Monday, July 04, 2005

A Land Flowing with... Pita and Hummus?





Throughout Tanach, the Land of Israel is traditionally described as a "Land flowing with Milk and Honey", yet a recent article in Ha'aretz, entitled "A bit of Middle East in the East Village" has found some other items which can be added to the list.

"Two small hummus restaurants bearing the name Hummus Place - one in East Village and the other in West Village - have become a pilgrimage site over the past two months for Israelis living in New York. Israeli tourists who cannot manage for a week or two without hummus also visit these eateries. Israelis are claiming that this is the first time that someone in New York has managed to duplicate the familiar flavor of the hummus spots in Israel. There have even been some who claim, jokingly or seriously, that now there is no reason to visit Tel Aviv."

Interestingly enough, the founder of the restaurant, Ori Apple, 33, formerly of Kibbutz Ma'oz HaYam, has run into a unique set of challenges in duplicating Israeli dishes traditionally found in a Hummus restaurant:

"When I make Israeli salad, for example, I add extra lemon juice and olive oil," says Apple, "because the vegetables here are a bit bland - the vegetables in Israel have much more flavor."

The biggest challenge, however, says Apple is duplicating Israeli pita - a feat that no one has apparently managed so far.

"I found a bakery in Brooklyn that makes pita very similar to Israeli pitas, but I admit that they are not good enough for me. The pita made here are not good, and I still haven't figured out why. Maybe it's the flour, or maybe the local water. One of the problems is that unlike in Israel, where pita are baked several times a day and delivered fresh to restaurants, here the pita are sent out once, early in the morning, and that's it. I plan to import a small bakery from Israel in order to make our pita. Perhaps that will provide the solution."


As I see it, Ori Apple is right-on when he recognizes the challenge of duplicating the tastes of the Land of Israel in Chutz La'Aretz. Yet, I wonder if Ori Apple's quest to bring the flavor of the Land of Israel aborad is destined to fail. After all, what makes Israel so special is the aura of sanctity that pervades everything that finds itself within her borders - and I don't believe that it is something that can be transplanted.

Good luck, Ori... you're going to need it.

7 Comments:

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By Anonymous Sung Plato, at Mon Dec 19, 07:28:00 PM GMT+2  

I hope there will finally be Israeli style pita here in America. There is such a difference between the light, soft, fresh pita in Israel, and the hard, cardboardy pita that I have access to here. They don't even look the same, so good luck!

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By Blogger longge, at Mon Jul 12, 03:24:00 AM GMT+3  

I hadn't prove Israeli Pita, I just prove the the one that made in my country but most be similar. In fact an Israeli friend of mine who likes to look for Viagra Online told me that Israeli food it's fabulous.

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