This time of year is especially joyful for the Jewish people, with Passover around the corner. However, it is a joyful time for aficionados of Coca-Cola, as well.
For Ashkenazi Jews (those descended from the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, and more than 80% of the world’s Jewish population), the formula of Coca-Cola is changed back to its truly original recipe due to dietary restrictions and is sold in bottles with yellow caps during Passover:
The colored cap means the Coke is made with cane sugar, so it tastes the way it did back in the day, before high fructose corn syrup took over the world. Corn, of course, is kitnyiot, that category of grains and legumes that are forbidden to Ashkenazi Jews during the holiday along with the more obvious foods like bread…
One-year-old Evelina and her two-year-old sister Milana live in the former Soviet Union with their parents in one room of a three-room apartment that belongs to their grandmother. Their grandmother occupies a second room and other relatives – parents and their three children – live in the third.
The families in the crowded apartment live in a state of constant conflict, creating a hazardous and unhealthy environment for Evelina and Milana. There are often quarrels – even calls to the police – and all five of the children are not allowed to play together.
Evelina and Milana’s father stays home with the girls while their mother works shifts as a waitress. He doesn’t have permanent employment but occasionally works in construction when he can find a job.
On their meager income, the family is unable to provide the basic necessities…
Trying to decide what to make for dinner? How about making a popular dish enjoyed by Jewish families of Sephardic (Middle Eastern, North African, or Spanish) descent? The bureka is a delicious pastry, similar to the Turkish “burak,” that is prepared and served on festive occasions, and is widely sold on Israeli street corners. Burekas can be prepared with various types of dough: strudel dough (thin leaves), rising dough, or with types of prepared dough found in the market. Make sure to eat it while it’s hot and fresh! Mmmmm….
1/2 lb. margarine
1 tsp. salt
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup cheese (feta)
1 cup cooked spinach
3 egg yolks
1 egg yolk
4 cups sesame seeds
Dough: Melt the margarine and mix with flour and salt. Add warm water until able to roll dough. Roll it, cut a leaf, and cut circles with a cup.
Stuffing: Mix all the ingredients. Put one teaspoon…
Feel like adding a taste of Israeli cuisine to your dinner table tonight? Try our recipe for Israeli salad, one of the most popular foods in Israel that can typically be found at the many falafel stands across Israel. It is served on its own as a side dish or inside a pita with falafel, hummus, and tahini. This fresh, healthy, and colorful salad is sure to become one of your favorites!
- 6 cucumbers, diced
- 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 5 green onions, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1/3 cup chopped garlic
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Today is the annual celebration of the favorite Middle Eastern fried chickpea treat, the falafel. Though Israel, of course, is known in the Bible as the “land of milk and honey,” falafel is among the most popular foods in Israel and is sold on street corners in every city and town. Some even call it the “Israeli hamburger.” Students living on a meager budget can consume full-portion falafels in whole pitas as their noon “dinner.” Its popularity can be attributed in no small part to the Yemenite Jews who have brought a particularly tasty version onto the culinary scene.
If you can’t find a falafel restaurant in your neighborhood, why not make your own? Here’s an easy recipe so you too can celebrate International Falafel Day:
1 lb. canned chick-peas (drained)
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbs. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp. salt