Going to the top for a taste of the Golan

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Olive oil produced at Kibbutz Shamir on the western slopes of the Golan Heights

When it comes to Israeli cuisine — like the national food of other countries — nothing beats going to the source. Currently, on a visit to Israel with her husband and some of their children, Galya Sarner savored the tastes of her homeland that have long inspired her.

One of her favorite places is the Golan Heights where she spent two days on the northern plateau. While visiting what is likely the highest café in the country — Coffee Annan on the top of Mount Bental — Galya met its manager Kfir Ben-Shushan, who lives in nearby Kibbutz Merom Golan.
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Galya with Kfir Ben-Shushan, Manager of Coffee Annan on the top of Mount Bental, one of the highest spots in the Golan Heights
With his warm, personable manner, Kfir, 38, spoke with passion about all the agricultural products grown on the Golan. He highlighted the different kinds of fruit including grapes from which local vintners produce wine that’s acclaimed internationally.
He also cited the olive oil made at Kibbutz Shamir on the western slopes of the Golan. Available for sale at Coffee Annan, he kindly offered Galya a sample which she’s looking forward to use for various dishes after she returns to Toronto.
Originally from Bersheva, Kfir moved to Merom Golan in 1997 when he was 17. He has a smile that could light up a room and a personality that reflects the best of Israel. Today, at 38, he’s a key reason behind the success of Coffee Annan, which attracts visitors from all over Israel and around the world who come for the coffee, food and spectacular view of the Golan and across the border into Syria.
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Galya’s husband, Robert Sarner, with their daughter Shani, during the visit to Mount Bental overlooking the Golan Heights, with Syria in the background
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