A journey from a love affair with processed foods to a love affair with cheese.
Hey everyone, I apologize for the lack of activity here in the past month. You see, I had to go on vacation. It’s a tough life. But now I’m back! And feeling kind of uninspired… But luckily, Jerusalem Season of Culture has made my job pretty easy today.
In case you haven’t heard (and if you live in Jerusalem and you are reading this, you surely have heard), Jerusalem Season of Culture is bringing the food truck to Jerusalem this season. Every night, beginning last Wednesday and lasting through mid-August, the truck will park in a different Jerusalem neighborhood and serve a different type of cuisine. The initiative is led by chef Assaf Granit of Machneyuda, and each night a different well-known Jerusalemite “hosts” the event by serving as an inspiration for the evening’s dish because of their particular relationship to it.
The organization sends an email or sms every morning to those who signed up, revealing the location and fare. Four days in, and it seems like every dish will cost 20 NIS with a free drink. All kosher.
Tonight I was able to go for the first time. The truck was parked in the Rav Kook parking lot, and today’s specialty was gado gado, an Indonesian curry. My friend Chava and I were both impressed – first and foremost, not only was the food good, it did not taste “Israeli ethnic.” (You know how you go to places that claim to be Thai or Chinese or South American or whatever and the
seasoning sauce tastes all the same, like a combination of sweet chili sauce and thousand island dressing with maybe some soy sauce? Please tell me you know what I mean.) Anyway, this was not that. It was vegetables (mostly carrots and cabbage), noodles, and chicken in a spicy coconut milk sauce. Since I’ve never had other Indonesian food I can’t compare, but this was tasty. I mean, it didn’t knock my socks off, but it was a cut above for street food. There was also a woman walking around handing out small portions of a lentil dish. The free drink was bright green (and not so great).
My goal is to make it to as many of these as I can. (I’ve already missed meatballs with rice and beans, masala dosas, and brik – a tunisian food.) I have a feeling I won’t make it to many, especially in farther flung neighborhoods, but it’s good to have goals.
Now, you all know I love food, and that I have major yuppie foodie envy of more hipstery places like Brooklyn, so obviously the idea of our very own Jerusalem food truck strikes my fancy. But beyond that, though on a related level, I just love this whole initiative of diversifying the types of events that are available in this city. I love that it uses the city’s neighborhoods and its resources but brings in stuff from around the world. And it starts at different times every day, so I imagine it attracts different types of crowds (today’s was heavily, though not exclusively, family-oriented). Good job Season of Culture.
And as long as we’re talking about awesome culinary cultural events in Jerusalem, just want to remind you all about my favorite annual event, the Jerusalem Wine Festival, which will be held this year August 5-8. Glasses will cost a whopping 85 NIS. Better be worth it…