Discover a participating restaurant or join an event, to learn more about “stories and flavors of the region”
It’s not too late to catch Taste of Israel! This festival will be continuing on until Feb. 1, so there’s still time to join in this weekend. Created by Jewish Arts Collaborative in 2019, it is Boston’s only Israeli restaurant week. Restaurants will create three to five dishes using ingredients from an IsraeliBox designed by JArts. They will serve these courses on their menus throughout the length of the event. When you visit a restaurant, you can learn about the story behind each creation, and food enthusiasts are encouraged to order their own IsraeliBox, filled with ingredients such as shakshuka spice mix, black olives in salt, Medjool dates, and pickled lemon spread. “Just as Israel serves as a melting pot of cuisines—Moroccan, Yemenite, French, Bukharan, Russian, Ethiopian, Druze, and many others—Taste of Israel features restaurants from a variety of persuasions,” reads a statement on JArts’ site.
Taste of Israel will also be holding some special events. On Jan. 28, watch Liron Gal share her passion for chocolate making. Gal left a corporate career during the COVID pandemic to pursue a boutique chocolate line. Learn more about her story on Friday at noon. Author Judy Bolton-Fasman will hold a conversation virtually on Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. Master baker Bettina Scemama will talk with Bolton-Fasman about Sephardic Jewish cuisine and how it is experienced in Cuba and other Latin American countries.
“Jews have never been a monolith. Having lived all over the world, we’ve adopted the cuisines of the myriad places in which we lived. While matzoh balls are one of our most recognized cultural dishes (fluffy or dense?), there is so much more to Jewish culinary history,” reads a description.
Restaurants participating in Taste of Israel include Mamaleh’s Delicatessen, serving berebere spiced shortrib and tomato tagine with dried fruit, freekah, and almonds. Bettina’s Bakery will prepare chocolate date cake with dulce de leche and sea salt, while ice cream chain J. P. Licks will offer olive oil ice cream.
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.