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#16 Orik

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 05:37 PM

The proprietor of Taboon was waxing poetic about Israeli wines and he told me that there are currently a lot of Israeli wineries (I don't remember the exact number but it was surprisingly high- something like 120?).

That's possible, but many of them may be no more than a couple of vats in someone's back yard. Grape supply is very limited and there are still serious issues with how they're handled on the way to the winery. I saw many new vines being planted, but overall I would imagine that very few of those 120 currently produce anything worthwhile. Again, other members may know better, but apart from the odd success by this Rosenbaum guy and maybe Flumm (sp?), I'd imagine that the well established Golan Heights/Yarden, Tishbi and Castel are still the most reliable.

One note for bloviatrix - I'm not sure Andre mentioned on eG that at least in some cases, wineries producing kosher wines cook the wine that's meant for export for some religious reason that I'd rather not understand. As a result, it's possible that the reviews you read based on Israeli products will have little to do with what you get here. Some wineries still cook the wine for the local market as well - if you want to teach someone how to identify cooked wine, seek them out :lol:
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#17 Stone

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 06:17 PM

One note for bloviatrix - I'm not sure Andre mentioned on eG that at least in some cases, wineries producing kosher wines cook the wine that's meant for export for some religious reason that I'd rather not understand. As a result, it's possible that the reviews you read based on Israeli products will have little to do with what you get here. Some wineries still cook the wine for the local market as well - if you want to teach someone how to identify cooked wine, seek them out :lol:

My understanding is that if any non-Jews are involved in the wine-making process, it must bee heated to a certain temperature in order to stay kosher.

#18 Rail Paul

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 06:42 PM

One note for bloviatrix - I'm not sure Andre mentioned on eG that at least in some cases, wineries producing kosher wines cook the wine that's meant for export for some religious reason that I'd rather not understand. As a result, it's possible that the reviews you read based on Israeli products will have little to do with what you get here. Some wineries still cook the wine for the local market as well - if you want to teach someone how to identify cooked wine, seek them out :lol:

My understanding is that if any non-Jews are involved in the wine-making process, it must bee heated to a certain temperature in order to stay kosher.

From wine spectator:

Not all Reserve St. Martin wines are kosher, so read their labels carefully.The company's kosher wines are made at the same winery as its nonkosher wines,but the kosher wines are produced in a separate, rabbinically supervised area and stored in kosher-only cellars.

For a wine to be kosher, certain rules must be followed regarding the ritualcleansing of winemaking equipment. Also, observant Jews must perform the winemaking, and only certified kosher products, such as yeast and fining agents,can be used. Many kosher wines are also mevushal, meeting additional standards that allow them to be handled by non-Jews and still remain kosher.

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#19 bloviatrix

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Posted 01 April 2005 - 07:42 PM

The boiling process you refer to is called mevushal. Not all kosher wines are mevushal and a quick perusal of any kosher wine label will tell you whether the wine is or isn't. Many winemakers make their kosher wines mevushal so they can be placed on the wine lists at kosher restaurants. As such, many of the better wines are never available when dining out in a kosher restaurant.

There are debates as to whether the heat negatively affects the wine. Some say the wines lose character. Others say that it's bogus.

I just pulled out three bottles of wine. The Recanati (Israel) SR and the Laurent Perrier Rose are not mevushal. The Roberto Cohen Pouilly Fuisse is.
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#20 Orik

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 02:47 PM

Now that we've discussed the fine details of discriminatory and seperatist edicts in wine production, let's move on to some more food.

Catit, considered to be Israel's best restaurant at the moment, is located about 10 miles outside Tel-Aviv, in what used to be the residence and HQ of Edmund Allenby, a locally famous WWI military type. Approaching from the parking lot, his picture posted in the lobby seems a bit Hitleresque and they should probably move it [1], but other than that the place has been beautifully renovated (including one of the largest restaurant kitchens I've seen).

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The cuisine is mostly French-Med (with some Asian accents), but as the chef told us, much of it is driven by the absence of ingredients he'd like to work with at the price point that local market can afford. ("I served you this scallop ceviche that was very heavily spiced because I don't want you to taste the frozen scallop and nobody imports fresh scallops anymore, not even Mul-Yum [2]").

Ingredients or not, he does a mostly excellent job. Among the many (20+) dishes sampled:

Egg in the shell with duck liver and porcini

Whipped eggplant and goat cheese with blue crab, tarragon and raw yolk

Fish [3] ceviche with pickled shallots, coriander seeds, wine infused olives, thyme and citrus/ginger jelly

Perfectly textured goose gizzards with artichoke and anchovy sauce

So-so duck liver terrine en croute (texture was not as smooth as you'd expect)

Shrimp & calamari on risotto with pernod foam

Fish with a mushroom ragu, foie gras and a mushroom cream croquette.

A plate of very local cheeses (produced a couple of miles away)

Excellent kadaif with goat cheese

Pictures of some dishes are available here.


[1] not that this would be all that surprising given that newspaper ads for a Tel-Aviv coffee shop called Anna feature Anne Frank.
[2] Mul-Yum - a restaurant and seafood importer, details to follow
[3] Either sea bass or sea bream, farmed. I really don't know what names like Lavrak and Mussar translate to.
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#21 Orik

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 04:33 PM

By the way, Israel has recently banned the production of foie gras, meaning it's as widely available as it's ever been. Pass stupid laws and people will ignore them.


Mul-Yum - a bastion of high prices and high quality ingredients that made it through the long recession by relying on the owner's edge as a seafood importer and, I suspect, on his personal wealth. Not that it hasn't been hurt as well - the selection of fish they import has shrunk and the chef's tasting menu, priced at an unthinkable $120, has vanished, but they're the only place where there are still main courses priced as high as $50.

The menu was nearly unchanged from our last visit (almost 3 years ago) and we opted for:

Crab soup - a perfectly balanced creamy/frothy soup based on very intense blue crab stock.

Sea food soup - anise flavored consomme with calamary, shrimps and mussles. Well done, not terribly interesting.

Forbidden rice risotto with langoustines - very good.

Cod with foie gras in red wine sauce - I've had a version of this dish before, using scallops instead of cod. The foie and the sauce were good, particularly when combined with an onion "risotto" that was much better than Bouley's attempt and textually very close to risotto. The cod I could live without, quite flavorless and too much of it for an appetizer.

Shrimps with artichoke and preserved lemons - good quality shrimps, although not the best we've had there. Nice.

Shrimps and scallops prepared somehow (I'm drawing a blank here)

For dessert - six very good oysters and something I don't remember.


[1] a trilingual word play - means "facing the sea" in Hebrew, which it isn't really, it faces an old seaport warehouse and a construction site, quite surreal.
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#22 Ore

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 10:19 PM

Ciao,

I think in the next two years Israel is going to be mentioned a bit more in the FOOD scene...just a feeling with lots of very talented chefs starting to peak out of their shells.

The raw ingredients exist and I feel the Israeli chefs now need to realize how to focus on less, rather then more to bring out the bold and fresh Israeli flavors...


Ore

Orik - any reports on the street food findings??

#23 Orik

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Posted 04 April 2005 - 10:35 PM

The raw ingredients exist and I feel the Israeli chefs now need to realize how to focus on less, rather then more to bring out the bold and fresh Israeli flavors...

They do? :lol: I didn't notice and certainly the prevailing style there doesn't reflect that anyone thinks so.

But what surely exists is the (still somewhat tentative) feeling that something good is about to happen. Combine that with many talented young chefs and with investors who are as prone to the national mood swings there as anyone else and I'm sure you're right. Something good will happen.

I'll post some notes on street foods later on, but to be honest, I didn't get a chance to do much exploring.
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#24 Josh Karpf

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 04:31 PM

Pesach Kitniyot [kosher-for-Passover] Rebels Roil Rabbis As Some Ashkenazim Follow New, Permissive Ruling

By Nathan Jeffay
Published April 02, 2009, issue of April 10, 2009
http://www.forward.c...rticles/104483/

[...]

[An Ashkenazic Orthodox Jew] plans to eat a food shunned on Passover by most observant Ashkenazim. Rice - a key ingredient in sushi - is not in the biblically banned category of hametz, or leavened cereal grain. Religiously, if not taxonomically, it falls within the family of legumes that in Hebrew is known as kitniyot.

Sephardic Jews eat them on Passover, but Ashkenazic rabbis banned them centuries ago because they resemble leavened food when they swell up.

More and more foods have been classified as [kosher-for-Passover] in recent years, as Ashkenazi rabbinic positions have hardened across a wide expanse of Halacha, or traditional religious law. Of late, however, something of a rebellion has erupted among pockets of Modern Orthodox Jews who have decided to eat [unkosher-for-Passover food]. . . .

#25 Wilfrid1

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 09:45 PM

Is this the place to post about the Pink Pig's growing Hebrew audience?

click
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#26 Mathamim

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:06 PM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Apr 4 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post
Is this the place to post about the Pink Pig's growing Hebrew audience?

click


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#27 macrosan

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 12:43 PM

Is this an audience of achat ?

#28 Wilfrid1

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 05:15 PM

QUOTE(Mathamim @ Apr 4 2009, 08:06 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Apr 4 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post
Is this the place to post about the Pink Pig's growing Hebrew audience?

click


smile.gif


Er, welcome.
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If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#29 Mathamim

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:27 AM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Apr 4 2009, 08:15 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Mathamim @ Apr 4 2009, 08:06 AM) View Post
QUOTE(Wilfrid @ Apr 4 2009, 12:45 AM) View Post
Is this the place to post about the Pink Pig's growing Hebrew audience?

click


smile.gif


Er, welcome.


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#30 Mathamim

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 05:32 AM

QUOTE(macrosan @ Apr 4 2009, 03:43 PM) View Post
Is this an audience of achat ?


But I'm reading twice wink.gif

It's just our "RR" search engine.


Edited: link fix.