THE ISRAELI BREAKFAST – BEST IN THE WORLD !
The Israeli breakfast best in the world? I expected to be enthused by the Israeli culinary scene, but I never expected to be excited by “breakfast”. I’ve never been a breakfast person … not until I arrived in Israel. Unlike my husband, I have never woken up eager to run into the shower and head down to the hotel dining room to enjoy my breakfast. But I know that travel which involves touring from early morning to late into the evening requires a substantial breakfast before setting out for the day.
Our recent trip to Israel, however, was transformative. The very first morning, I was awestruck by the magnificent and wide variety of choices – – healthy and fresh choices – offered up at the breakfast buffet in the restaurant of our hotel, the Dan Tel Aviv Hotel. It took just that one morning to provide me with that special ah-hah moment. I had become a “breakfast person” too. Indeed, all of the other large hotels we stayed in during our two-week tour of Israel, including the Inbal Jerusalem Hotel, theDavid Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv, the Scots Hotel in Tiberias, all provided breakfasts that tantalized my taste buds and gave me the energy to enjoy a busy day of touring without weighing me down.
Of course I’ve had “healthy” breakfasts before. I’ve enjoyed light and flavorful Japanese and Chinese breakfasts, and tried smoothies. With the concept of “healthy” out of the equation — I’ve eaten many a marvelous traditional English breakfast renowned for its farm fresh eggs cooked with butter, gammon bacon, home-made sausage, grilled tomato and mushrooms, and fried bread. And of course, many a time I’ve savored freshly baked croissants and café au lait in France. But for me to have the feeling of sheer enjoyment in the morning and get-up-and-go energy after eating, top of the list and far above the others is an Israeli breakfast.
So what is so special about an “Israeli” breakfast? First of all, in the larger hotels it’s traditionally served buffet-style which allows me to do a walk-about to check out all the offerings before selecting what I want. Plus I love buffets because they light up my senses, allowing me to see, smell and even taste foods before I actually pile them onto my plate. And I simply enjoy watching the chefs and cooks at the made-to-order stations perform their artistry as they prepare individual orders.
Secondly the array of foods displayed includes a wide range of Israeli, Mediterranean and European offerings. After all, Israel – like the U.S. – is a melting pot of people from many countries around the world, but their lifestyle is indeed Mediterranean. We all have heard about the “healthy” benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and I can simply attest to the fact that I felt more energized and infinitely more satisfied after enjoying a breakfast in Israel than I have ever felt post-breakfast elsewhere.
Thirdly, the aromas of the fruit and veggies in an Israeli breakfast buffet talk to me. Honestly, they beckon me to sample them as I walk by – they are irresistible. I first had this experience when we moved to France in 1974 and shopped at a huge outdoor farm market. The sights and smells of all that wonderful fresh produce were so exciting and so inviting. Most assuredly, like the French, the Israelis must use a system of crop rotation and fertilization that provides the ideal soil base for producing such aromatic and delicious produce. How they have transformed their dessert land into a rich, well-irrigated farmer’s delight is a miracle which
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