The Zen of Za’atar: Israel’s Key Spice Blend

Like every national cuisine, Israeli cooking is made up of big and small ingredients, some with a strong presence that get lots of fanfare, others that are subtle and more in the shadows. Early on in my awakening to Israeli cuisine, thanks to Galya, I was introduced to a marvellous spice blend I had never…

How Sweet it is: The Joy of Halva

Halva is one of those age-old treats most people can’t resist once they discover it. While not unique to Israel, it’s home to a particular version of halva that’s extremely popular there as both a dessert and frequent snack. It’s considered “a taste of Israel” for which Galya Sarner has a great affinity. Dating back to…

Showcasing Israeli Cuisine on the Page

As Israeli food becomes more popular outside Israel, interest in learning more about it continues to grow. Reflecting — and contributing to — this phenomenon are various books that have come out in recent years. By far, the most successful and one that Galya Sarner strongly recommends is Jerusalem: A Cookbook. Published in 2012, it…

Israeli Cuisine True to Mediterranean Diet

Given its geographic location, it’s little surprise Israeli food is strongly linked to the so-called Mediterranean diet. Long recommended for its purported nutritional and health benefits, this eating plan is based on foods and recipes endemic to countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It’s an eating pattern to which Israeli culinary customs largely conform. Although the…

Sources of Inspiration

At a young age growing up in Jerusalem, Galya Sarner developed a keen interest in culinary matters. She was strongly influenced by her mother and grandmother, both of whom were extremely talented in the kitchen. They often took Galya to Jerusalem’s main outdoor food market, Mahane Yehuda, as the first step in preparing the next…

A Way With Food, A Way With People

Galya Sarner doesn’t only know how to make spectacular Israeli food. She also has an innate ability to teach people how to develop their skills in the kitchen and have a good time while they’re at it. In recent years, Galya has conducted numerous culinary workshops where she’s shared her passion for Israeli cuisine and…

In Pursuit of Heavenly Hummus

You haven’t really tasted hummus until you savour it the way Galya Sarner makes it. She’s nothing if not a hummus aficionado, which comes from decades of eating and making it to perfection.  It’s one of her specialities and over the years her version of this spread, made from cooked, mashed chickpeas and other tasty…

Israeli Food Attracting Greater Media Attention

In recent years, international interest in Israeli cuisine has grown considerably. From visitors to Israel discovering and savouring the county’s rich food offerings to new Israeli restaurants opening in many countries to the success of Israeli cook books, Israel’s culinary feats are attracting more attention and acclaim. The media is rife with articles on the…

The Friday Night Special

According to centuries-old Jewish tradition, dinner on Friday is different from the other days of the week. This is due, in part, to the onset of the Sabbath at sundown. Most Jewish families, whether religious or secular, and no matter how crazy everyone’s schedules are on other days, try to eat together on Friday evening….

A Culinary Journey

Galya comes to her food prowess quite naturally, part of a time-honoured family tradition passed down from one generation to the next. As a young girl in Jerusalem, she learned through osmosis by way of her mother and grandmother. Both attached great importance to the role of food in the life of a family.  Both…