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