January 30, 2018
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The Israel Issue
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Za’atar has had a very big couple of years. Heard of za’atar? Love to say the word “za’atar”? Do you rub your grilled chicken with za’atar? The foundational Middle Eastern spice mix, a blend of sumac, sesame seeds, hyssop, thyme, and oregano, has been featured in recipes for flat breads, spreads, roasted vegetables—and evangelized by everybody from Joan Nathan, Azhar Hashem, and Alton Brown to Yotam Ottolenghi and Melissa Clark.

The rise of za’atar in mainstream recipe development, as well as the way it has charted a course straight into restaurant dishes that don’t necessarily identify as strictly Middle Eastern, is one of a growing number of examples of how Israeli food—with all its excitement and complexities—is coming into focus on the global stage. For this special issue of TASTE, we’ve looked closely at a few topics we think you will enjoy reading about. We’ve investigated the origins of Israeli couscous, fizzy gazoz, and a crispy potato bread called toch. There are stories from Tel Aviv, Akko, and Ramallah—and a deep look at Palestinian cooks in America. We hope these stories colorfully, and accurately, bring into a focus a culture we both feel so much love—and appetite—for. Matt Rodbard & Adeena Sussman

The Bearded Chef of Akko

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The Bearded Chef of Akko

For nearly 20 years, Uri Jeremias has been cooking fish and spreading the gospel of Israeli cooking. It’s about time the world listened.

Zahav at 10 Years

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Zahav at 10 Years

No restaurant in America has brought Israeli cooking to the front burner more than Zahav in Philadelphia. A decade in, a co-owner looks back at the highs, lows, and 134,409 orders of pomegranate lamb shoulder.

The Fizz That Time Forgot

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The Fizz That Time Forgot

Sweet, bubbly, and chemically colorful, gazoz quenched Israel’s thirst for much of the 20th century. Now, thanks to a new generation of chefs and tinkerers, it’s being reimagined for a new generation.

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