Last week, Huskies for Israel, Northeastern’s undergraduate pro-Israel student organization, celebrated Israel Week, a week of all things Israel. One of their events (which was our favorite event) was the food festival. Huskies for Israel members handed out free traditional Israeli food from Rami’s in Brookline. They added in an educational component by distributing fun food facts about the food as well.
#SpoonTip: If you’re looking for a place with good pita, Rami’s is the place to go. From Huskies for Israel President Jessica Geller: “We chose Rami’s because we know it’s good and because they have great, authentic, thick pita.”
We love all things food, but we also loved that the club wanted to increase awareness for Israel by showing that it’s more than what we’re reading in the news. While we chowed down on the free hummus, falafel, and pita put together by a student who spent a semester in Israel, we learned a couple of interesting things about Israeli food:
1. The cherry tomato was innovated in Israel.
Although chopped tomatoes are popular in Israel, the cherry tomato was actually engineered in Israel by two Hebrew University professors. Thank you, Israel, for giving birth to the perfect healthy snack.
2. Israeli children are less likely to have peanut allergies because they grew up eating Bamba.
3. Shnitzel is an Austrian food, but is eaten in Israel as well.
The Ashkenazi Jews from Europe brought the schnitzel tradition with them, since some of them were of Germanic origin. Unlike the classic Viennese schnitzel, Israeli schnitzel is often topped with sesame seeds.
4. Shakshuka was introduced by two different groups of Jews.
This classic Middle Eastern brunch food was introduced by the Tunisian Jews and the Maghrebi Jews. Turns out everyone loves shakshuka.
#SpoonTip: If you’re ever in Israel, you have to try out the shakshuka at Doctor Shakshuka, a small restaurant in Jaffa.
5. Israelis eat baklava too.
6. Israelis use olive oil just as much (or more) than we do.
7. They have pop candy too… in chocolate form.
Didn’t we all love pop rocks as kids? Well, Israelis have their own version — chocolate bars that pop in your mouth.
8. Hummus is popular enough that you can buy hummus ice cream.
Yes, you heard that right. The country loves hummus enough that it’s an ice cream flavor at a shop in Jaffa.
9. You’ve never lived if you haven’t experienced a traditional Israeli breakfast.
It’s quite the spread. Let’s just say that Israelis know how to start the day off right.
10. Tel Aviv has the world’s third most sushi restaurants per capita in the world.
Tel Aviv has over a hundred sushi restaurants, putting it just behind Tokyo and NYC for the most sushi restaurants per capita.
11. Chocolate milk is sold in a bag.
Israeli dairy cows rank number one in the world in terms of milk output, and Israeli dairy techniques are utilized around the globe. But that’s not all that makes Israeli milk special — you can find Shoko B’Sakit, a type of chocolate milk, in a bag in Israel.
12. Per capita, Israelis are the world’s biggest consumers of fruits, vegetables, and chicken.
Hey, if you can’t eat pork, you gotta eat something else.
Huskies for Israel, which believes Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state, holds general meetings, speakers, and events throughout the semester. They welcome all students – you do not have to be Israeli or Jewish to join! You can find them on Twitter and on Facebook.