The weather is beautiful in Jerusalem right now so taking a brisk walk through the shuk is a real pleasure.
In recent times, Israel has seen two beer trends; micro breweries are abounding – more and more Israeli beers are available; at the same time, taxes on beer have gone up and up so that prices have gone through the roof. A decent bargain is always welcome and as I got off the bus I spotted a decent sale on the 750 ml bottles of Bazelet which is one of the leading boutique places – 3 bottles for NIS 69 where in most places you’ll pay NIS 29 – 30 for one bottle. The rapid approach of the weekend is reason enough to be drinking and I look forward to splitting a bottle later! Hamesameach, 64 Aggripas – just past the open shuk coming from town.
Fruit pickings are fairly slim at this time of year. Strawberries are really the highlight for our family and whilst the price has dropped somewhat they’re still in the NIS 16 – 20 range per kilo.
I saw wonderful looking Asparagus in a couple of places – thick stalks with fat, compact heads. Unfortunately they go for NIS 35 per bunch so unless we win the lottery we’ll have to give it a miss for now!
Fresh, as opposed to dry garlic is delicious finely chopped and added to pretty much anything! I also love tossing some on the grill or adding to roasted veggies or using it in any recipe that calls for Ramps – a wild garlic. I saw some baby fresh garlic and grabbed it but it’s still a little early to be finding the good fat bulbs of it.
Artichokes, both the regular and etymologically challenged Jerusalem varieties are very much in evidence. The former are about NIS 7 per kilo and my better half loves them though I find them very fiddly. Jerusalem artichokes (below) are part of the sunflower family and have nothing to do with Jerusalem – the name apparently is a corruption of the Italian word for sunflower. Nonetheless, in that they bear the name of my hometown I feel that I ought to give them a try – either roasted like potatoes or as a soup – or both!