i want you so bad

thanksgiving as a vegetarian was unexpectedly awesome.  people seem to focus on the turkey as the iconic holiday dish, but they forget that it’s one of the rare american meals in which vegetables – almond green beans, mashed basil sweet potatoes, and roasted succotash at my family’s table – actually fill up the majority of a the plate.  and, yes, stuffing is a vegetable in my book.  i don’t feel the need to carry the majority of the cultural elements of my upbringing on the east coast to new home in the middle east, but thanksgiving is a gem that deserves a place in my life.

speaking of food, here’s some visual imagery of the current, general situation in israel:

+1 = real parmesan from italy at 14nis for 100g…i used to have to go to a specialty shop to find this, but now it’s available in most supermarkets, and only about 6 shekels more per 100g than the inferior israeli variety (israel makes some lovely cheese, and probably some quality parm-like ones, but that which is available at this particular supermarket is not one of them.)  anyway, one point for you, israel, you win my consumerism.  um, and i guess kind of italy too?  whatever, the point is that this cheese had made this country a better place and might solve the israeli-palestinian conflict.

-1 = fake cheese.  i thought that my eyes forever escaped forced view of this imposter when i left america, but no.  “processed cheese food” has spread like the bubonic plague all around the world (way before i got here, i just have never seen it advertised in this quantity).  this product is called “pizzarella,” fake mozarella, and anyone that actually reads the label will see that the word “cheese” is no where to be found, only the phrase “milk protein and vegetable fat.”  ok, they should think of a better phrase to describe the stuff…but the name “processed cheese food” has always annoyed me because it’s not cheese, so cheese should not be in the name.  how about processed dairy food?  anyway, it even looks gross in the picture, the way it flakes apart instead of streaming in dynamic strings of genuine cheesy goodness.  in any case, i am appalled.  minus one point for israel’s gastronomic landscape.  i understand that people should have the right to buy this product, but it should be hid in the bottom of the refrigerated area in shame.

+1 jerusalem artichokes!  they are neither jerusalemite nor artichokes, but they are my favorite tuber.  they go for about a million dollars a pound in the states but here they cost about a half a shekel, or 10 cents, each.   and jerusalem artichoke soup is part of the top 10 reasons that i adore the colder seasons.  oh, this is my local friendly supermarket guy, scanning a horrid mistake that i made: non-baby raw spinach…my salad tastes like a bowl of tree leaves.

+.75 i have finally found an adequate pasta place to serve as cheap eats for groups of struggling 20 somethings like me.  until now, hummus ben sira was my go to empty-wallet meal out with friends, and still stands as the establishment that i feel offers diners the best deal in the city, but man cannot live on garbanzo alone.  pasta with a choice of about 10 sauces is whipped up for you in a jiffy at just 20 shekels, and added toppings and veggies for a few more.  the down side is that it tastes like 20 shekel pasta, or at least what i ordered.  on the other hand, there are so many places in this city that uncreatively serve what tastes like 20 shekel pasta  but charge you 50.

two fun little links starts NOW!

1. um, i want this for chanukah.  SO BAD.


or not…cuz they only ship to the US.  boo.

2. how neat…


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One Response to “i want you so bad”

  1. Robin Says:

    cheese food! the irony! did you hear about the lawsuit that dairy companies keep trying to push through, suing almond, rice, and soy milk makers for calling their product “milk”? how are they not also suing kraft for its cheese food? sound like a double standard to me.

    also, i have never had a jerusalem artichoke. if i ever find them for less than a million dollars a pound, will you give me a recipe?

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