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Israeli street food – the magnificent and humble boureka

The square shape of the bourekas tells us that they are filled with a potato filling One does not have to spend a long time in Israel to get your first introduction to a boureka. These savory stuffed pastries are everywhere You'll find them for breakfast in hotel dining halls, in countless bakeries and coffee shops, on picnics and even at restaurants that only serve bourekas. They are often eaten in Israeli homes as part of a 'light' or diary meal in the evenings. (Most households in Israel usually serve the large cooked meal at lunchtime.) More often than not, bourekas are also an integral part of the wonderful Friday or Shabbat brunch table. To be really honest however, you basically eat a boureka whenever you encounter one. They are that irresistible. If you stop to grab a quick coffee at a coffee shop, the comforting smell of the bourekas will convince you to upgrade to a 'café ve'ma afe' (coffee + pastry). Wandering through street markets, the sight of fres

The wild mustard flowers of Israel

The wild mustard is growing yellow and everywhere in Israel at the moment. But not the kind of mustard that you eat with ketchup on your hotdog! Wild mustard as in wild mustard plants! :)

I am talking about Sinapsis Arvensis, a tiny yellow flower that grows in masses in fields, along road sides and abandoned building sites. Up close the wild mustard flower does not look like much - a bit on the puny side actually. But just come across a field filled with mustard flowers and you will be enchanted - just as I am every spring.

These flowers are just so YELLOW and they have a lovely heady smell. Some describe their scent as pungent but I would rather describe it as aromatic! :) Our long wet winter has helped the wild mustard to grow everywhere.

The flowers usually grow to about waist-high but I have walked through fields where the mustard flowers touched my shoulders. One magical spring day, I was hiking around the Sea of Galilee to the archeology site at Capernaum. The wild mustard flowers obscured my view nearly all the way but I felt as if I was walking in this yellow-green parallel universe that smelled incredibly nice.

We had so much rain this winter, I am sure that the wild mustard flowers are going to grow tall again. The days are slowly becoming warmer and it hasn't rained for a few days. Soon the summer will be with us and the mustard mustard flowers will dry out and only the photos will be a reminder that they every existed.

You will probably think that I am a bit crazy to go on about something that is basically, well...a weed. But go for a walk, smell the wild mustard and hear the bees buzzing about. And if you do not live in Israel - now is a great time to visit. Spring in Israel is magic!

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  1. Reading your blog presented a breathe of fresh air for me as I've been longing to experience those quaint moments of peace and solitude in that good old country. nefesh b'nefesh moving israel

    1. Thanks for your kind words Patrick. Spring in Israel is indeed wonderful.

  2. I really appreciated this article. I have been searching for a genuine description of mustard plants (not a scientific one) for my writing, and yours helped me addition, you have lifted my heart with a breath of beauty in your words. Thank you for the peaceful, gentle vision.

    1. You are very welcome! I am glad my words was of help :)

  3. Hey Brother! Shalom to you.. I was searching for the images of Mustard plants found in Isreal for my video. and I found your images and backstory of yours very useful.

  4. I love yourdescription of wild mustard! You bring it to life, so even from thousands of miles away (Cleveland, Ohio, in the U.S.) and in a much colder season, still I can imagine it.

    I found your blog when I was looking for information about mustard in Israel for a Bible lesson on the Parable of the Mustard Seed from the Christian scriptures. My I have your permission to share your description and pictures as part of the lesson when I teach it?


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