Specializing in Custom Private Tours of Israel and Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions, the Gems.
Specializing in Custom Private Tours of Israel and Israel's Lesser Known Tourist Attractions, the Gems.

Israeli Food & Dining Glossary

Alei Dafna: Bay leaves.

Amba: Spicy mango pickle sauce, typically available at all falafel stands.


Baharat: Spice combination from the Eastern Mediterranean consisting of chili, black pepper, paprika, cloves, cinnamon,nutmeg, cardamom, cumin and coriander.


Baklawa: Sweet pastry made with leafy dough, filled with pistachios, honey and nuts.


Bakar: Beef.


Basar Lavan: Pork.


Basilicum: (also known as Reychan) Basil.


Beitzim: Eggs.


Borscht: A cold beet-based soup that is typically served with sour cream.


Burekas: Pastry of Turkish origin, filled with cheese, potato, meat, spinach or eggplant.

Challah: (also spelled: hallah) Ashkenazic egg bread. Usually made in braided form for the Sabbath, and in circular form for the Jewish new year (so that we remember the circular nature of life.).


Chalav: Milk.


Cholent: A slow-cooked stew of meat, potatoes and beans often made for Shabbat.


Couscous: Moroccan dish of tiny semolina grains.


Cusbara :(also known as Gad) Cilantro.


Dag: Fish.


Etrog: (also spelled: Esrog) Hebrew word for citron, a rare citrus fruit that resembles a lemon, but which has coarser skin. It is used in the festival of Sukkot.


Falafel: Chickpea and vegetable mixture made into balls and fried. Served in pita bread this is most common fast food in the country, which is served with a variety of salads, pickles etc.


Ful: The name for this fava or ‘broad’ bean is pronounced fool. Ful mudammas, (a type of stew) is considered the Egyptian national dish.


Gefilte fish: Literally, "stuffed fish." A mixture of ground fish--typically, pike, carp, and whitefish--that traditionally was stuffed back into a fish skin.


Gvina Levana: White Cheese (soft,spreadable)


Gvina Tzehuba: Yellow Cheese (hard)


Halvah: Sweet made of ground sesame seeds.


Hamantashen: Triangular pastries stuffed with jam, poppy seeds, or honey which are. eaten on Purim (to remind us of the villain Haman in the Purim story).


Harif: Chili-type hot sauce, eaten with falafel. Also refers to anything spicy.


Harira: Moroccan soup.


Harisa: Hot Tunisian chili paste.


Hawayij: Yemenite spice combination made of black pepper, caraway seeds, saffron and cardamom.


Hummus: A spread made of chickpeas, typically eaten as an appetizer with pita bread.


Irit: Chives.


Jachnun: Yemenite pastry.


Kaf: Tablespoon.


Kafe': Coffee.


Kapit: Teaspoon.


Kebab: Minced meat, grilled on a skewer.


Kinuach: Dessert.


Kerach: Ice.


Kreplach: Jewish version of wonton or ravioli. Simple dough stuffed with a mixture of ground meat (usually liver and onions). It is s either as a side dish, or floating in chicken soup.


Kubbeh:  Fried Iraqi fritters made from bulgur and semolina, usually filled with meat, onions and pine nuts.


Labaneh: Sour-tasting spread made from yogurt or goat’s milk,(sometimes served as round balls as well). Usually eaten as an appetizer.


Latke: Crispy potato pancake fried in oil. Typically served for Hanukkah.


Lechem: Bread.


Ma'im: Water.


Malawach: Yemenite type of bread.


Mana Acharona: Dessert.


Mana Ikarit: Main Course.


Marak: Soup.


Marvah: Sage.


Mazleg: Fork.


Melach: Salt.


Meltzar: Waiter.


Menta: Spearmint.


Mis’ada: Restaurant.


Mitz Tapuzim: Orange Juice.


Nana: Peppermint.


Petrosilia: Parsley.


Pita: Round pocket bread.


Rosemarine: Rosemary.


Shakshuka: Dish made mainly from tomatos and eggs. Typically a breakfast dish.


Salat: Salad.


Sabich: Fast food dish, eaten in pita bread, consisting of hummus, eggplant, potato, hard-boiled

egg, and salad.


Schwarma: Rotisserie grilled meat.


Shamir: Dill.


Shipudiayh: Grill restaurant.


Shumar: Fennel.


Sufganiot: Israeli donuts typically eaten on Hanukkah.


Sukar: Sugar.


Sumac: Cherry red spice used for its sour taste, is often mixed with Za’atar.


Tabbouleh: (also spelled: Tabouli) Cracked wheat salad typically made with parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, and mint.


Tafrit: Menu.


Tahina: (also spelled Tahini) Sesame paste, usually eaten with hummus or falafel, but can be eaten on its own as well.


Timin: (also known as Koranit) Thyme.


Tzalachat: Plate.


Yayin Adom: Red Wine.


Yayin Lavan: White Wine.


Za’atar: Mixture of hyssop, thyme leaves and sesame seeds, used in salads, with Labaneh etc.


Zhug: Hot Yemenite mixture made from fresh parsley, coriander and chili peppers as well as garlic, salt, pepper and cardamom.



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