food fight
foodfight_flag.jpgWe invited Israeli-American chef Lulu Kalman to document her favorite dishes from both Jewish and Arab cultures.

The fight over who invented hummus goes back ages. Chickpeas have been around for 9,000-ish years and hummus has been around for just about as long -- crusaders even snacked on it. But it wasn't until the 20th century that the baby carrot came into play. I don't know when everyone started bickering over who invented hummus but the debate wages on. Arabs say it was their invention. Israelis beg to differ. I can't say who's right, but I do know that when I want really great hummus in Israel, I head out to an Arab restaurant.

It's a muddy line that differentiates the food of Israel and Palestine. If I try to separate out the cuisines in terms of Arab or Jewish then I think of falafel, tabouleh, pita, eggplant, yogurt and lamb as Arab food and gefilte fish, chicken soup, challah, knishes and chopped liver as Jewish food. But that's barely apples to apples. It's like comparing the Jewish food of Eastern Europe to Arabic food in the Middle East. And really, there is so much more. There are Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews and there are Muslim, Christian and Jewish Arabs. For me, the food of Israel and Palestine is that of the entire Levant. The traditions and religions of each culture shape the food on the plate, but the land and the geography determine the ingredients in the kitchen.

foodfight_jewish1.jpgKatz's Deli New York, NY

foodfight_jewish2.jpgGefilteria New York, NY

foodfight_jewish3.jpgCafé Noir Tel Aviv, Israel

foodfight_jewish4.jpgMuchan Ve Mezuman B'nei Brak, Israel

foodfight_jewish5.jpgAt Home New York, NY

foodfight_jewish6.jpgB&H Dairy New York, NY

foodfight_arab1.jpgEin Gev Kibbutz Ein Gev, Israel

foodfight_arab2.jpgThe Old Man and The Sea Jaffa, Israel

foodfight_arab3.jpgGabi's Bourek at the Carmel Market. Tel Aviv, Israel

foodfight_arab4.jpgHummus Asli Jaffa, Israel

foodfight_arab5.jpgTsachi Tsameret Bat Yam, Israel

foodfight_arab6.jpgTanoreen Restaurant Brooklyn, NY
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