Via Sabra is offering an off-the-beaten track culinary experience that complements the movie “In Search of Israeli Cuisine” that was filmed in Israel. This unique itinerary delves into the complexities of defining ISRAELI cuisine while offering the participant the essence of being Israeli.
Preparing for Shabbat – Jerusalem Style
Nachlaot, is known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues is actually a cluster of at least 12 neighborhoods that were established beginning in the late 1870s outside the walls of the Old City which was becoming increasingly overcrowded and unsanitary. In the wake of gentrification projects in the area, the face of the neighborhood has changed while retaining its unique character
Machane Yehuda market "tasting tour"- Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors and sounds this market has to offer
“slow-cooked dishes made with fresh vegetables and herbs, offering all sorts of cozy delights”
Afternoon at leisure
Western Wall: A Friday night visit to the, (the Kotel) the only remnant of the Temple compound built by Herod the Great is a unique experience.
Friday night dinner - enjoy an authentic and intimate dining experiences in the home of a Jerusalemite to savor what an Israeli Friday night dinner is all about.
Taste & Tour in the Judean Hills
Bread baking workshop and lunch- Dive into the world of dough with Atalia whose magical hands will guide you through the entire baking process.
Long an artists' quarter, we will tour in Ein Kerem, a picturesque hillside village, is the biblical Ein Hakarem mentioned in the Bible whose name means "the spring in the vineyard".
“This restaurant is considered one of the best in Jerusalem, possibly the country. Celebrity chef, Assaf Granit, grew up in Jerusalem and pays homage to the city's colors and cacophony in his elegant dishes. The menu changes twice daily, but nearly always includes chamshuka, a fusion of chopped meat and hummus, and a raucous dessert ceremony of ice cream flung on tables covered in aluminum foil.”
The famous Machane Yehuda market takes on a different look at night as local young artists have used the market’s raw surfaces to launch Tabula Rasa, an eclectic urban art project.
Tonight we tour shuk “after hours” with one of the artists.
Shai Seltzer’s Goat & Cheese farm- In the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, Shai created his own goat farm after winning cheese exhibition awards. Meet this unique individual who prepares his cheese in a 2,000-year-old cave.
Nahal HaShofet [the Judge's stream] is a green and beautiful place in Menashe Heights. The ingredients that make this area so special for the visitor are its clean air, the hills which are spackled with dreamy settlements, the seasonal blossoming e.g. the deep pink of Juda's tree during springtime, and the perennial streams with their foamy hasty water.
Travel to Nazareth
Visit the Basilica of the Annunciation where Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus. We will visit the narrow streets of the Nazareth market while sampling and learning about coffee. We will make a brief stop to see a vast array of traditional Arab sweets.
Free time for lunch on own.
Tahini, an oily paste and halva, dense, sweet confection are are both sesame-seed based. We’ll receive explanations on preparation and production along with tastings of these typical Middle Eastern treats
Dinner: "Makom b’Sejera"
“The restaurant's philosophy is one of heightened environmental awareness - the vegetables are organically homegrown on the premises and the main courses -- meat, game and fish -- are organically fed and hormone-free. The menu features delicacies unfamiliar to many kosher diners such as quail, mallard and pigeon.
Check in hotel
Foraging: From a high point in the Western Galilee, we are in view of Israel’s northern border. Here we pause to discuss politics and the delicate Middle East situation during a foraging tour to learn about the different edible plants and herbs that spurt and grow after the rains. Pruning shears in hand, we’ll gather what nature has to offer.
Druze cooking workshop: where the participant a hands-on, true to life cultural immersion. Together with our hosts, we will have hands-on preparation of traditional Galilean dishes. Our reward: we enjoy our feast, the product of our own labor.
Akko - On a peninsula that pokes out into the Mediterranean – this historical city seduces visitors with towering ramparts, deep moats, green domes, timeless synagogues, slender minarets, church towers, secret passageways and subterranean vaults.
Dinner- Uri Buri
“For the past 20 years opposite the Crusader subterranean city in Akko, the Uri Buri restaurant has been offering different kinds of delicately prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes served with more than 100 different kinds of fine Israeli wines.”
Oil, Wine, Honey, Whiskey – a Fluid Exploration
Avtalion Oil Press: A place in the middle of the road that lives with nature and merges into the human society around it. Fully integrated in the rich Galilean environment, the modern oil press is works inside an ancient building and uses only the finest local olive species – "baladi" (specially the fine Syrian brand which grows in the region) to produce a modern cold press extra virgin olive oil.
Yiftachel Winery: situated in the middle of a lovely blooming forest of Alon Hagalil. Red wines are produced from grapes cultivated in their own vineyard. Yiftachel also has beehives from which they separate nine types of special honey according to the nectar of the flowers.
Lunch: El Babur, Palestinian cuisine. “Abas Husam’s menu is taken strictly from what this land provides – in Arabic this is called “baladi”. More universally, Husam’s style is known as “slow cooking”
Proceed to Tel Aviv
Milk and Honey: the first whiskey distillery in Israel for a tasting tour
Check in hotel
Sarona - a Templar colony, established by devout Christians who came from Germany. Not long ago, a masterpiece of renovation and preservation of the colony ended. We will visit Sarona, the renovated compound and the market, Israel's largest indoor market.
"A tiny restaurant and wine bar, just a clutch of round tables on an alley just off Carmel Market, draws its inspiration from the market's fresh offerings".
Overnight: Tel Aviv
Making the Desert Bloom
Shirat HaMidbar- In the sand dunes of Halutza lies a unique organic farm in which grows medicinal herbs and spices, Moroccan Argan trees, edible grapes and a colorful orchard. Prepare your own spiced oil.
Kadesh Barne’a- Here in this arid desert community, a miracle of agriculture takes place with cherry tomatoes. We’ll meet the local farmer and marvel at the accomplishment that’s been achieved with state of the art technology.
Lunch: Ezuz a unique community of artists bursting with creativity. The village is home to less than 15 families, each of whom runs some kind of tourism or culture-related business. Ezuz is a haven for eco-tourism with many unique and inspirational creations constructed out of the remains of busses, train carriages and other unusual materials
Avi Arzuni’s farm- Using ancient Nabatean agricultural techniques, Avi has managed to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables year round relying solely on unexpected flash floods.
Shivta: Tour the archaeological site of a classic Nabatean town located along the ancient spice route it was later a Byzantine agricultural colony and way station for pilgrims en route to the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula.
Late return to Tel Aviv
The City that Never Sleeps
Jaffa Old City and Port- Walking through the cobblestone alleys, we’ll find ourselves at Jaffa’s exquisite port with Mediterranean views and a myriad of cafes and restaurants along the boardwalk. And what would a tour of Israeli cuisine be without a taste of the ubiquitous humus?
Lunch: HaMiznon, King George branch – where Chef Eyal Shani's crazy dishes are served in a pita bread.
Shuk Levinsky: The finest spices, dried fruits, boutique cheeses, roasted nuts and coffee beans, olives, condiments, pickled vegetables, exotic meats and salted fish, are all on sale there.
“Yemenite cuisine with Middle Eastern flavor”
Overnight: Tel Aviv
A Tel Aviv Friday
Tasting tour at the Carmel market. Enjoy Friday at the market, the busiest place in Tel Aviv with all the rich colors and scents.
Group summation and farewell lunch
By October 03 - all fees are refundable (less $500 deposit non-refundable).
By October 13 - 50% of the entire package will be charged.
By October 20 - 75% of the entire package will be charged
By October 31 - 100% of the entire package will be charged
*Itinerary is subject to change based on seasonal considerations and availability of speakers and restaurants.