Is there such a thing as Israeli food?

Suppose someone asked you, “What is Israeli food?”

What would you say?

Lemme guess.

You would probably say, “pita.”

Or, “humus.”

Or, “falafel.”

Or even, “tahini.”

And who could forget, that delicious, vibrant, “Israeli salad.”

But is it really true?

Is this really just Israeli food?

Do these foods really only belong to the State of Israel?

What about all those other countries that are located around the Middle East area?

You know, countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and, let’s not forget, Turkey.

  Those countries also have pita, humus, falafel, and an Israeli-like salad.

(You know, the cucumber, tomato, and olive-oil-type of salad.)

So, is this “Israeli food” or just a specifically regional food?

I mean, is it possible that people from those regions just ate similar types of food and you would, maybe, find slightly dissimilar variations of that food in countries throughout the area?

Let’s take Indian food, for example.

Food in India is very similar to Sri Lankan food.

It’s also very much like the food found in countries that surround it. 

But, like I said, there are just slight dissimilarities in every country. 

The same goes for Russian, Romanian, and even Polish food. 

Their foods are all not exactly the same, but there are obviously identical dishes, just with different names. 

In general, though, they’re pretty much the same foods.

To sum it all up, I don’t think there is any such thing as a “country’s food.”  Foods go by regions, not by nations. 

So, the next time someone asks you, “What is an Israeli food?”

You might want to tell them, “They’re not Israeli foods They’re regional foods.”

That’s not to say that you wouldn’t find something special in food made in Israel, but just keep in mind they’re regional dishes.

Every country has their own identifying culinary dishes, including Israel.

Israel’s falafel is not like other country’s falafel. 

Israel’s humus (which is delicious, you really should try it) is not made like any other country’s humus, or has the same style. 

Every country brings their own personal touch to their foods. 

So, is it the country that invents different dishes or is it the people of the country who bring their own personal touch to the food which makes it unique? 

Throughout the world, people of many nations have always interacted and learned different things from each other. 

Every country has been influenced by its neighbors in one way or the other (whether they want to admit it or not) including how and and what to cook.

No food really exclusively belongs to one nation.

About the Author
Anat Ghelber was born in Israel and moved to Texas when she was 13. There, she experienced anti-Semitism in public schools. She moved to New York City when she was 20. She is currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She started submitting articles to the Jewish Voice 2 years ago, and in her free time enjoys writing poems.
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