Out in Israel: Breakfast Porn

6.28.2012

By Justin Ocean

We haven't been turned on by a spread like this since 'Playgirl'

Two truisms we gathered from our recent fact-finding mission to Israel: 1) Eight out of 10 Israeli men are devastatingly hot (if you're into that whole dark 'n' handsome, muscled Middle Eastern look) and 2) no matter how late you stay out, don't miss your hotel's breakfast spread.

With a sun-drenched climate that produces irrefutably tasty vegetables -- this author never met a tomato he didn't gag on, till now -- and a healthy Mediterranean flavor profile, it was hard to get a bad meal in Israel.

Breakfasts, especially, were a first-rate affair. Fresh cheeses. Flakey breads. Warm hummus. Smokey eggplant spread. House-squeezed juices. Fruits. Salads. Herring. Eggs. Honey. Local date jams. Newly strained yogurt. Even shots of anise-flavored firewater. No matter where we stayed, the breakfast spread was enough to make America's bacon 'n' egg steam trays weep. Add to that the gritty cardamom-flavored brain fuel that is Turkish coffee, and we can't think of a more delicious way to start the day.

It's clear that Israel has taken the sage fitness advice of "the first meal of the day being the most important " to heart. (See point 1 above.) Although with the portions we indulged, we're not seeing that six-pack anytime soon.

Herewith, some food porn to start your day.

Atkins be damned: whole grain bread rolls, croissants, poppyseed streudel

Chilled arak (an anise-flavored) plus boiled almonds take the edge off 

Fresh-squeezed beet & apple juice, carrot juice, any juice you can imagine...

Local cheese with rosemary and olives, tomatoes and basil.

Stewed figs, plum, baklava, side salad with cucumber relish, cheesy croissant, carrot jam, a bit of halva, a shot of Turkish brew, and the sweetest, juiciest watermelon we've had in years

Israeli salad: finely diced tomato, cucumber, mint, parsley, olive oil,vinegar, delicious.

Sweden doesn't have the lock on cured fish. Lox for your bagel and schmeer -- and then some

Fresh honeycomb? Sure!

Warm hummus and olive oil, spinach pie with salty cheese, goat-milk yogurt stuffed in grape leaves, flakey pita, herb salad with pine nuts and cranberries, and one damn juicy peach

Fresh jams and nut spreads. Our favorite was the passionfruit and fig and stewed pears.

A Druze speciality: strained yogurt turns into labneh, topped with olive oil and za'atar (a regional spice mix heavy on oregano)

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