Sunday, August 29, 2010

(SOCIAL) Israel's Food Yields A Bounty Of Flavors

"I skip breakfast my first day in Israel. Later, I discover I've committed the equivalent of a sin.

'What? You haven't had breakfast?' at least 10 people say to me. These are not Jewish mothers, as it turns out, but people my own age — or younger. I encounter them wherever I go. They shake their heads in dismay, frown a bit and then scold me. Even the cute guy who sells earrings from a booth on the Nahalat Bingamin, a pedestrian street in Tel Aviv, can't believe I didn't nosh up a storm before I left my hotel.

The next day, when I do eat breakfast at my hotel, the Dan, I understand what all the fuss was about. The Israeli breakfast, as it turns out, is more than sustenance: It's an institution. It's bigger than life. The abundance proclaims itself in the form of myriad bowls and platters, all overflowing with handcrafted cheeses, egg dishes, marinated fish, salads of every imaginable sort, freshly squeezed juices, pies, various kinds of olives, pancakes, bagels, sweet bread and beyond. This isn't an ordinary all-you-can eat American hotel brunch; this is an event."

(2 pages)

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