Local Food Experiences in Israel
One of the best parts of traveling is sampling new foods from foreign places. The history and personality of a country is experienced in its flavors, and this is especially true in Israel, where the religious traditions and cultural memories of the Israeli people inspire their local dishes. Below is a helpful overview of the culinary traditions and foods you’ll find on your Christian tour through Israel.
You’ll find that most of Israel’s restaurants are kosher and conform to Jewish dietary law that mandates the separation of dairy products (including all cheeses and cream—even for coffee) from all meats. This means that you’ll have the opportunity to visit restaurants that serve either meat dishes only or dairy products only. You can expect establishments that serve both to have separate menus and separate kitchens to accommodate cultural laws. Additionally, you won’t find pork and shellfish in kosher restaurants.
Israel’s cuisine is a combination of local dishes native to the Jewish people and foods traditionally eaten in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Some of the country’s most common foods include:
Hummus, a dip made from mashed chickpeas, olive oil and spices, typically served with pita bread. (Hummus is as common to Israel as peanut butter is to the United States.)
Falafel, patties or balls of seasoned ground chickpeas, served in many restaurants and outdoor markets.
Shawarma, a pita bread sandwich made from seasoned meat prepared on a vertical spit. The meat is cooked for up to a day and then shaved off the block for serving.
Bourekas, puff pastry or phyllo dough filled with salty cheese, mashed potatoes, mushrooms and a variety of other fillings.
You can expect large breakfast and dinner buffets, which include a nice blend of cultural choices and traditional food with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Lunches include a variety of options from buffets to intimate restaurant experiences. The water in Israel is safe to drink, and bottled water is available throughout Israel. Coffee (Nescafe) and juices are served at breakfast; all other meals offer water though additional beverages can be purchased. Coffee may be available after dinner in coffee lounges.
Special Dietary Needs
If you have a specific food allergy or special dietary needs, we recommend that you plan for your unique needs in advance of your trip. For the most part you will find enough variety on the buffets or in restaurants for all meals to enjoy the foods of the region while still maintaining your diet. You may want to bring some heat resistant snacks to supplement your diet during touring days.
For more information please call one of our Reservation Coordinators at 800 247 1899, Monday through Friday between 8:30am-5:00pm, Pacific Time.