Israel's cuisine reflects a combination of influences from all over the world for their easy israeli recipes. Because most of the country's population is jewish, one of the strongest of these influences is the religious and cultural tradition shared by jews everywhere.
Breakfasts in Israel are hearty, especially in the countryside where they are eaten at the crack of dawn before a hard day's work in the fields. On Saturday, the Sabbath, when no cooking is permitted in Orthodox Jewish households, the meal is a hearty brunch of cold foods such as olives, yogurt, breads, jams, various cheeses, and smoked and pickled fish. It is accompanied by lots of hot tea or coffee from a samovar, an urn with a spigot at its base and a device for heating its contents, that is kept on the boil from Friday evening to Saturday dusk.
Israelis are busy people and they have made an art form out of stand-up dining. If it's edible, someone in Israel has found a way to eat it in a pita bread without dripping on their clothing.
Urbanites start work early in the morning. Offices are open at 8:00 A.M., and workers eat lunch rather late, around 1:00 P.M. Snacking gives israelis the energy they need to keep up their hectic pace.
Street food stands, rolling carts, and modest eateries are plentiful. Their services are perhaps most in demand on Fridays. Weekly sabbath observances shorten the workweek and ensure a particular dependence on snacks during the headlong rush to prepare for this weekly holiday.
Although lunch can sometimes be a snack meal in the country, it is often quite a large meal, the main meal of the day, in cities and towns. Schoolchildren sometimes eat lunch as late as 2:45 P.M., when the school day ends, and some office and shop workers have a break of several hours during the day so that they can go home to eat. Dinner is often a light meal of salad and fish, usually eaten after 7:00 in the evening.
For people of all ethnic groups, holidays are one of the most important occasions for families to gather together for the enjoyment of shared foods and traditions. Friends also visit each other during the holidays to share treats and good wishes.
Israelis come from all parts of the world, bringing with them a variety of savory recipes and interesting customs. The following recipes all have special connections to particular holidays or festivals, but many of them are also eaten year-round in Israel. Prepare these dishes for special occasions, or when you're just feeling festive. Then enjoy them amidst the warmth of family, friends, and good conversation.