Israel is a great country for gastronomic tourism. In addition to original dishes of national cuisine, you can also taste delicious exotic fruits here.
The Israelites have made great strides in horticulture and manage to grow rich crops in the dry desert area. Due to drip irrigation, a minimum amount of water is consumed, and the excess of sunlight allows fruit to be grown in Israel almost all year round. Faced with such an abundance, tourists may become confused – on the shelves next to the usual fruits, there are also completely unfamiliar ones. What exotic fruits grow in Israel, and which of them is definitely worth trying?
The most unusual Israeli fruits are the fruits of some types of cactus, united by the common name “pitaya”. They are also known under other names: “pitahaya”, “dragonfruit”, “dragon’s heart”. The fruit looks really unusual – its surface is covered with outgrowths, resembling pointed scales, and the juicy pulp contains many small black seeds.
The skin of the pitaya is yellow or raspberry. Yellow fruits have white flesh, while raspberry ones have white or pink flesh. The skin is inedible, and the pulp is juicy and aromatic, tastes a bit like kiwi. It contains vitamins B6 and C, as well as useful trace elements – iron, potassium, phosphorus, calcium.
100 grams of pitaya contains only 50 kcal, so this exotic Israeli fruit is appreciated by those on a low-calorie diet.
The fruit is eaten fresh, used to make juices, soft drinks, and even Israeli wine. The pitaya is harvested several times a year, so it can be seen on sale at any time. The cost of one piece is about 10 shekels ($ 2.7).
This fruit is very popular in Israel. Evergreen medlar trees can be seen not only in nurseries, but also on city streets. In the spring, medium-sized bright yellow pear-shaped fruits ripen on tree branches. The pulp of the shesek is juicy, sweet and sour, and tastes like a mixture of cherries and pears. Fruits are eaten fresh, and also juices, compotes, jams and jellies are made from them.
There are many useful substances and vitamins in medlar. Regular consumption of these exotic fruits helps to normalize blood sugar. Medlar ripens in spring, the average price is about $ 3 per kg.
Dates are one of the most common delicacies in the East. In Israel, the cultivar “Mejul” is grown, which is highly valued all over the world. Dates of this variety are large and sweet, they have a soft texture and a special pleasant aroma.
Date palm fruits can be eaten raw or dried. Dried fruits are stored for a long time and tolerate transportation well, so many tourists bring dates home as gifts from Israel.
Dates contain many vitamins and trace elements, and thanks to tryptophan, they are even able to prolong youth. These sweet dried fruits are also high in calories and help to quickly recuperate. Therefore, be sure to stock up on dates if you are going on a long excursion or walk around the city.
Dates are sold throughout the year, in a supermarket a kilogram costs an average of $ 5-7.
The mango in Israel is a favorite fruit and an important export. The climate of the country is good for mango trees, the fruits grow large and juicy.
It is no coincidence that mango is called “the king of fruits”. The fruits are delicious, aromatic and insanely healthy. They contain vitamins C and B, useful trace elements. Eating mango is doubly pleasant: the fruit strengthens health, and even cheers up!
Mango has smooth yellow, greenish or red skin, orange pulp, and a large stone inside. The exotic fruit tastes like apricot, pineapple and ice cream at the same time.
In Israel, mango trees bloom in the spring, and the fruits, depending on the variety, begin to ripen from July to December. Fruit is eaten fresh, juices, desserts, jam, marmalade are prepared from them. Mangoes in Israel are sold for about $ 3-4 per kg.
Lychee is an exotic fruit of Israel that is also worth trying. They are medium-sized, have an oval shape and do not exceed 4 cm in size. Under the bumpy red skin, there is a light pulp of a jelly-like consistency and a hard bone. Lychee tastes a bit like grapes with a winey flavor and a slight astringent effect. These exotic fruits are eaten fresh, canned and dried.
Israeli winery “Morad” uses lychee to make a special type of wine, which can be purchased as an original souvenir.
The fruits usually ripen at the end of June. During this time, some Israeli nurseries offer an exotic service: they invite tourists and locals to collect lychee. One of these places is located near Kibbutz Matsuwa near Nahariya – “Leitachev ba-teva” (להתאהב בטבע). The entrance costs 35 shekels and entitles you to pick and eat fruit without restrictions.
Other exotic fruits grow in Israel: carambola, passionfruit, guava, feijoa, tamarillo. There are also more common fruits in large quantities: bananas, apples, pears, melons, watermelons, oranges, lemons, peaches. They are sold in Israeli supermarkets and markets. In the second case, prices are 10-15% lower.
To see what kind of fruit is in Israel, you must definitely visit the markets. They work from morning to evening and amaze with their picturesqueness, like an artist’s palette. In major Israeli resort cities, prices are slightly higher than in remote locations. The cost of common fruits ranges from $ 1 to $ 10 per kg, while exotic fruits can cost up to $ 20 per kg.
The most popular Israeli markets where you can buy fruits:
Remember that the “hottest” time in Israeli markets is Friday morning, before Shabbat. Almost all markets are closed on Saturday.
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