Tuesday, November 8, 2011

One Last Highlight of My Trip that I Must Share with You-The Shuk

It's 6 am and Chef Aj is upstairs sleeping in my house! Can you believe it? It's amazing what the universe will greet you with if you just put yourself out there. Tonight I am hosting a Plant-strong pot luck for my local community so that everyone can meet Aj. I'm really excited. I get a natural high from being around like-minded people and I know tonight will be very special.

But this morning I want to share one last impression of my trip. Something that touched me so deeply that I just can't shake the feeling that I want to go back.

Mahane Yehuda Market, often referred to as "The Shuk", is an outdoor marketplace in Jerusalem, Israel. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the market's more than 250 vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables; baked goods; fish, meat and cheeses; nuts, seeds, and spices; wines and liquors; clothing and shoes; housewares, and textiles.

Dried fruits of every variety.

The spices! Indescribable. Blends of dehydrated onions, nuts and seeds and spices. I'm kicking myself for not purchasing bags and bags full.

More spices.

Fresh dates. Different than dried dates. The sweetness hasn't been concentrated yet
so they are quite different.

Beautiful olives.

Gorgeous breads.
Halva like I have never seen before. Halva is a dense, sweet confection served in many regions including the Middle East, Asia, North Africa and Europe. It was a staple in my house growing up.
Crumbly and usually made from sesame paste or other nut butters such as sunflower seed butter. The primary ingredients are nut butter and sugar. It was sold at the shuk in so many flavors my head was spinning! I tasted the coffee flavor . . . I could have died and gone to heaven right on the spot. Like nothing I have ever experienced before.

Baklava and other sweets.
Fresh figs, my favorite! Like I said, I want to go back. Asap!

Where are you itching to go?
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