In part three of my Holy Land series, I share with you a no hold barred tour of my most memorable meals. Now I might look like a serious piglet eating all of this food, but keep in mind that this was recorded over a period of several days. 😀 I started off my eating extravaganza at Abu Shukri’s, most renowned for the best hummus and felafel in Jerusalem. Now keep in mind, I have eaten in my lifetime probably 10,875 plates of hummus from my parents and every aunt, uncle, grandfather, grandmother and cousin in my family. So you can assume I have pretty high standards for hummus. Abu Shukris did not disappoint and was as creamy, fluffy garlicky, and lemony as it should be. Seriously if you ever eat Abu Shukris hummus, followed by store bought American hummus, the difference might bring you to tears. You will never want to eat American hummus again. Add to that the crispiest, airiest, tastiest felafel to sop it up with, and you just might want to book your ticket to Jerusalem tomorrow.
Me in Hummus Heaven:
Another highlight of my visit was sampling the “Ful Mudamas” which is fava bean dip laden with olive oil, parsley, garlic, and jalapenos if you’re feeling fiery:
Fava beans are a vegan’s dream, in that they are loaded with protein, fiber, iron and minerals. I kid you not after eating this Arabic breakfast loaded with legumes I was full for 8 hours, walking around the winding old City of Jerusalem with relentless energy.
My second favorite meal was musakhan in the Palestinian city of Ramallah. If you have been watching my show for a while, you would know that musakhan is chicken roasted on bread loaded with caramelized onions and toasted nuts, and I got my own serving of the real deal at ZAROUR RESTAURANT:
The bread in this restaurant is baked in a taboun, or clay oven, and one portion was clearly enough for four people. This restaurant has personal significance for me, as my grandfather’s sister married into the Zarour family 70 years ago and lived in the home that has now been converted into the restaurant. I felt like I was in a time capsule, eating the food of my ancestors with the stone walls shaped like a cave and Arabic music playing in the background. This experience certainly made me long for simpler times. Now if you are not going to Ramallah anytime soon, check out my easy RECIPE to make it for dinner tonight! Of course no meal is complete without dessert, so our next trek up the hill was for Rukab’s Ice Cream:
While Italians have their gelato, Palestinians have Rukab’s Booza, which is ice cream that stretches like mozzarella cheese because of the Arabic gum. Booza is the Arabic word for ice cream, a word that every Arab child learns after mamma and babba. This was the only ice cream shop around when my father was a kid. During my father’s childhood, there were only about 4 flavors, and today there are more than 20. The traditional favorite is Tutti Frutti (Lemon, berry, and Pistachio) but today you can get Nutella, Oreo, Ferrero Rocher, or Ritter Sport chocolate flavors. The consistency is creamy, light, and rich all at once. Are you drooling yet? If not then you must check out my latest video, where I bring all of these places to life so you can experience them vicariously too!
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