Tag: Israeli

All about sabich, a rich and tasty Israeli sandwich – Italian Cuisine

All about sabich, a rich and tasty Israeli sandwich

All about sabich, the traditional Israeli-Jewish sandwich stuffed with aubergines, boiled eggs, salad and spicy sauce whose recipe recalls that of a typical dish of Shabbat

Anyone who has come across at least once Israeli cuisine will certainly have heard of the sabich, a rich and tasty sandwich that contains all the taste and tradition of that country. This sandwich, brought to Israel in the 50s by Jewish immigrants, has undergone some changes over the years, but is still a representative dish of Israeli street food and in addition to being widespread in the city of Tel Aviv and other areas of the Middle East it is also slowly making an appearance on restaurant menus in other parts of the world.

History, origin and curiosity about the Sabich

Few sandwiches in the world are so deeply linked to the history and culture of their country of origin. The origins of the Sabich date back to the 1940s and 1950s when emigrant Jews from neighboring countries moved to Israel, bringing with them ingredients and aromas typical of Shabbat. What was initially a Jewish dish it was soon adapted to local cuisine, until it became a real sandwich thanks to the addition of laffa, a focaccia similar to the most famous pita. The first name of the Sabich dates back to the period when the sandwich took hold in the Jewish community, and beyond, and began to be prepared and sold as street food at the Sabich Tsvi Halabi kiosk. Many mistakenly believe that the name is an acronym for its ingredients, namely salat (salad), beitzah (egg) and hazilim (eggplant), while still others believe that the letters of the root of the word, namely S, B and H, compose the word "morning" in Arabic, as the time of day during which the sandwich was traditionally eaten.

Recipe and evolution of the Israeli sandwich

There original sabich recipe consists in stuffing a lafa focaccia with well fried eggplants, brown boiled eggs, Israeli salad and amba sauce. According to the tradition of the Israeli Jews of Ramat, who abide by the Jewish rule of not cooking on Saturday, the eggplants are fried on Friday, while the eggs between Friday and Saturday were left to boil the eggs slowly for a period ranging from 8 to 12 hours; what you get are the so-called haminados eggs, brown-colored boiled eggs that traditionally, seasoned with salt and pepper, are served in the breakfast on Saturday morning. The other two typical ingredients to add in the stuffed sandwich are the amba sauce, a chutney made with unripe green mangoes, vinegar, salt, chilli pepper, turmeric and fenugreek, and the Israeli salad, prepared with tomatoes, onions and cucumbers cut into small cubes and seasoned with lemon juice, salt and parsley. Although many Iraqi Jews have remained faithful to the original version of sabich, there are many ingredients that are sometimes added to the lafa, including hummus, tahini sauce, Israeli green sauce called zhug, chips, pickles, falafel and a wide variety of herbs and spices. Whatever the variant of the chosen sabich, this tasty sandwich represents a unique dish and is able to delight you with its enchanting balance of flavors and its unmistakable Middle Eastern aroma.

Photo: Israeli sandwich sabich_Eatingeast.jpg

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What is the zhoug, the Israeli sauce that everyone loves – Italian Cuisine

What is the zhoug, the Israeli sauce that everyone loves

Zhoug, a spicy Israeli sauce, is becoming an international trend, winning both international chefs and social media

Zhoug, zhug or skhug; these are just some of the many ways in which one is called delicious spicy sauce typical of Iranian cuisine. This condiment, much loved and used in Israel, Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries, has been starting to become popular in the rest of the world, particularly in the United States. There are many international chefs who appreciate it, there are many restaurants where the sauce makes its appearance on the menu but, above all, so much visibility on social media, where it is becoming a real food trend.

Zhoug, new alternative to sriracha or pesto?

Although there are several variants of zhoug, the most common in Israeli popular cuisine is green and is prepared with fresh coriander leaves, green hot pepper, garlic and cumin, sometimes with the addition of parsley, cloves, cumin seeds and lemon juice. For the equally tasty red version, which recalls the famous one sriracha sauce of Thai origin, red peppers and tomato sauce are used instead. Both the green and the red zhoug, similar to the more well-known hummus and tahina, are used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a condiment for flavoring pita bread, falafel, shawarma (Arabic term for kebab) and shakshouka, a Tunisian dish widespread in Israel which consists of poached eggs with tomato sauce, red pepper, garlic and various spices.
Finally, they are not lacking modern zhoug recipes which provide for the addition of oil, so as to make it a creamy sauce that can represent a valid spicy and light alternative to pesto.

From the Middle East to the conquest of social media

This irresistible spicy sauce, besides being aromatic and tasty, is free of sugar, gluten, dried fruit and is produced with 100% vegetable and natural ingredients, which makes it suitable for many types of diets. Fresh coriander is also considered a herb with remarkable properties antioxidants, much more than basil, and contains a large amount of beta-carotene. All these features, combined with the growing interest of the United States and many Western countries to discover and integrate Middle Eastern cuisine, has meant that the zhoug's popularity in the world it increased dramatically. In the last year, in particular, this Israeli seasoning has been officially recognized as food trend also on social networks, especially on Instagram and on Facebook. This data was released recently by Tastewise, a US food and culinary trend analysis startup with headquarters in Israel. According to the founder of Tastewise, a former Google executive, the considerable surge in consumption and online visibility of this salsa in America is due to the tendency of many consumers and food lovers to explore new exotic flavors and to discover new culinary experiences that are at the same time as healthy and natural as possible.

Photo: zhough spicy sauce israeli_Flickr_jules stonesoup.jpg
Photo: Zhug or Skhug spicy Iranian sauce_Wikipedia Commons_DonIncognito.jpg

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