Israel’s pleasant Mediterranean climate and diverse population makes for delicious eating: fresh vegetables, vivid spices, and international inspirations. At Tel Aviv’s central market, evidence of Israel’s culinary obsessions abounds, ready for visitors to taste their way through. Here’s what you won’t want to miss.
Naomi Tomky is The Gastrognome, a Seattle-based food and travel writer and the world’s most enthusiastic eater of everything.
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Awnings shade the broad alleyways of Carmel's pedestrian streets, which fill up with crowds as the day goes on.
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This guy didn't want to put down his phone for the photo, but he presides over a table full of Arab sweets.
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On Tuesdays and Fridays, Nachlat Binyamin, one of the side alleys of Carmel Market, hosts an art market that walks the delicate balance between quality and affordability. These magnets show off the many shapes of bread available in the market.
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Watch the fresh veggies go into this beet, carrot, and celery juice pumped up with ginger and turmeric, and you'll feel quite good about the decisions you've made. And it's as delicious as it is vibrantly colored.
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Israel is a small country, but nearly all the fruits and produce are grown here, which means you're eating whatever is in season—cherry season started the week these photos were taken.
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Did you know that cherry tomatoes were developed in Israel?
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Unclear if the precarious stacking was for sales purposes or the work of a bored retailer, but the amba (Iraqi fermented mango sauce), tahini and olive oil shown here are certainly some of the building blocks of Israeli cuisine.
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Soft, spice-laden flatbreads make the perfect start to a day of market wandering. The blanket of green on these is za'atar, a common spice mix all over the Middle East.
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The Shuk isn't all food—there are stores and stall selling clothes, flowers and fabric, among other items.
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A close up of two of the most popular sweets. Most people know baklava—filo dough layered with nuts—but knafeh is less well-known outside the region. This version layers cheese with strands of tiny, thin noodles, then the whole thing is soaked in syrup and baked. The distinctive orange shade comes
from food coloring.