Around the World in 80 Plates: Israel

Captain Create has a really fast balloon! He has gone almost all the way around the globe to one of the longest inhabited countries in the world, Israel. Israel is a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, and is regarded by Jews, Christians ,and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in the city of Jerusalem. Israel’s financial city, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture, interesting restaurants, and beautiful warm beaches.

Because of its coastal location and incredibly long and detailed history, there have been a lot of immigrants and travelers, and with them came new foods, ingredients, and traditions.

One famous dish is Shakshuka, or shakshouka, made of tomatoes, peppers and eggs. The name means “all mixed up” because it is just that. It may have been brought to Israel from Morocco, Yemen, or maybe the Ottoman Empire; nobody knows for certain where it came from. They all agree that it is really yummy, especially with hot sauce! Harissa is a spicy pepper paste that you can find all over the Middle East, but any hot sauce will do if you like spicy food! The best part about shakshuka is that each family or restaurant has their own version, so you can make up your own version too with whatever you’ve got at home or in your garden.

Our version has tomatoes and squash because we didn’t have any bell peppers. We also used mozzarella cheese to put on top, instead of feta because we ate all the feta a few days ago.

We ate our shakshuka for dinner, with little pieces of toast, family style right out of the skillet!

When you think about it a little bit, dishes like this have been developed all around the world. Mexican huevos rancheros, made with fried eggs served on tortillas with a tomato-chili sauce, beans, and rice is similar to shakshuka even though Mexico is nowhere near Israel. In Spain, you can eat pisto manchego, which is made with a sunny side up egg placed on an eggplant and tomato stew, sometimes with chorizo, which is also really similar.

What do you think your family will use in your new top secret, but still shareable, family recipe?

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