Despite the scorching summer heat, Israelis seem oddly unruffled; the reason? Everyone is flocking to try the latest fruity favorites this season has to offer. Refreshing watermelon, sparkling peach, sabres and cherry delights are where it’s at to keep your cool.
We popped by Rokach Yam, one of Jaffa Ports’ finest restaurants, and asked Chef Eyal Lavi, about the latest summer foods and thirst-quenchers. “This summer, the main culinary themes are refreshment and health,” says Eyal, ”we have been blessed with many delicious fruits and vegetables. In most places you can find juice stands, which allow customers to create their own special drink from freshly squeezed melon, pomegranate, apple, orange and beetroot juices.”
More summer stars include the ever famous Israeli born “barad” or ice coffee, ice yogurt with fruit, and the delicious ice lemon mint, made with freshly ground mint leaves. In fact, according to Haaretz.com, “each month since early heat waves appeared, 300,000 such beverages have been sold monthly all over Israel. “
And what are the most popular foods Israeli’s are talking about? Eyal replied, “I like to go with light dishes, and mix in some yogurt, olive oil and of course lots of fresh fruit, vegetables and different cheeses.“ Big favorites are dishes like ceviche and Carpaccio; Eyal recently launched a Carpaccio dish laced with fruit vinaigrette, radishes, fennel, asparagus and mint. “These light, fresh dishes are perfect to sit and snack while on the sea front with a cold beer or wine,” says Eyal.
Before we left, we asked Eyal to provide us with a recipe for a popular summer drink. “I chose a simple Italian classic cocktail named Negroni, I think is great for summer,” he smiles.
Thankfully, whether you are at the pool, in the city, or on your way to the beach, Israeli coffee shops, restaurants and juice stands are always in close proximity. So, this summer, close your eyes and surrender to the sea and sun, and find a flavor that will make your taste buds win the lottery!