Jerusalem Experience

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Holiday Foods in Israel

You know it's a holiday when special treats suddenly appear in bakeries, street stalls, supermarkets, and restaurants. Round doughnuts dabbed with jelly at Hanukkah, cheese blintzes bursting with raisins at Shavuot, or triangles of filled pastry at Purim: foods symbolize each holiday's historical event or theme.

On holidays, families and friends sit down to festive meals of favorite foods eaten in time-honored tradition. Tu b'Shevat, the winter New Year of Trees celebration, has everyone munching juicy dried fruit such as tart apricots, golden raisins, and sweet dates and figs, accompanied by nuts and pumpkin or sunflower seeds. On Independence Day in spring, people barbecue, and the scent of sizzling meat wafts throughout Israel.

Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, is observed each Friday night and Saturday. Pride of place goes to a golden-crusted, braided, soft challah bread; look for these in bakeries each week.

Updated: 11-2013

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