Goat with the Wind Dairy

Goat with the Wind Dairy (2)

As you drive on the rocky and uneven road down to the Goat with the Wind (Halav im HaRuach) organic dairy, a solar-powered goat farm near the village of Yodfat in the Galilee region, you are taken back in time. I felt like I was in Biblical times, a shepherdess walking to visit my friends up the hill who sell amazing cheeses. The air was clean and fresh, and the view was breathtakingly beautiful which made me forget about all the stresses and normal day-to-day life.

Goat with the Wind Gate

Lunch with a View (1)

Amnon and Dalia, who studied cheesemaking in Italy, have made everything beautiful: the stone buildings, the restaurant kitchen, the treehouse-like dining rooms; even the barn for the goats has beautiful hand-painted doors that I wanted to take off their hinges and take home with me.

Content Goats with the Wind

Goats with the Wind

The goats look so happy and are so well taken care of that it makes you want to try the goat’s milk, cheeses and yogurt even more.

Goat with the Wind Dairy

Mr BT and our friends Cassia and Massimo stopped here for their dairy lunch. As we entered the restaurant, we were seated in our own little balcony that overlooked the area.

Goat with the Wind Dairy (1)

The table was decorated with Indian fabrics and we sat on small wicker stools. I loved the wooden plates and decorative place settings with the fragrant lavender.

Goat with the Wind Ricotta

Goat with the Wind Labane

They bring out a selection of all of their cheeses which are all delicious, but the real stars of the show are their ricotta, which is some of the best I have ever had in Israel, their labane, and their yogurt.

Goat with the Wind Eggplant Salad

Goat with the Wind Salad

And we all loved their salads, which were perfectly seasoned and showcased our fantastic vegetables here in Israel. The thing I loved was that not all of the salads had tomatoes in them because I am allergic to raw tomato. The lunch is all you can eat, so you can stuff yourself silly.

Goat with the Wind Dessert

The meal closed with this adorable presentation of a chocolate brownie and a nut tart.

Happy Goat with the Wind

I highly recommend a visit to the farm, and if you want to take some ricotta back home with you, make sure you pre-order it when you book a table. The farm welcomes volunteers to work on the farm who will perform tasks such as cleaning, gardening, feeding the animals, milking the goats, decorating or carpentry work.

Oh, and if you happen to need to use the loo, then don’t worry. It is in an outhouse, but with a real toilet and a sink to wash up. In fact, it is a rather beautiful outhouse.

By the way, Halav im HaRuach is pun on the Hebrew translation of the film title “Gone with the Wind”: Halaf im HaRuach.

Ein Kamonim Goat Farm

Ein_Kamonim_Goat_Farm

Amiram and Drora Obrutsky started the Ein Camonim goat farm in 1979. They took the name Ein Camonim from Ephraim Kishon’s book The Fox in the Chicken-Coop, which is about an aging Knesset member who is told to take time off after he collapses during a speech and finds himself in a backward Israeli village far from civilization.

Ein_Kamonim_White_Alpine_Goat

Amiram Avrutzki got into the dairy business “by accident” when a friend asked him if he could look after a herd of goats because he was short of space. Drora, who didn’t want to waste the goats’ milk, started to make cheese from it. At first, she made the cheese in her kitchen and then she studied the art of cheese-making abroad.

Ein_Kamonim_Black_Alpine_Goat

Amiram started researching the different breeds of goats in other countries: he discovered a breed of Alpine goat that produces 1,000 litres of milk a year as opposed to  the 140 litres produced by the goats native to Israel. After dealing with a lot of bureaucratic red tape, Amiram was given permission to import Alpine goats from France, and he is now an expert who exchanges information with other goat breeders around the world.

Ein_Kamonim_Old_Scale

Ein Kamonim was one of the first dairies in Israel to make boutique cheeses directly on the farm.

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese

They produce about thirty different kinds of cheese, which are all made from the milk of their herd. All the milk is whole and pasteurized and all the ingredients are natural without preservatives or food coloring.

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese (1)

You can buy all of their cheeses and delicious goat’s yogurt in the dairy shop.

Ein_Kamonim_Fig_Walnut_Jam

Don’t leave without bringing home a jar of their delicious fig and walnut jam, which goes well on top of most of their cheeses or slathered on buttered bread.

Ein_Kamonim_Restaurant_Al_Fresco

The best way to try all of their cheeses on offer is to dine al fresco at their beautiful restaurant

Ein_Kamonim_Cheese_Platter

and enjoy their “all-you-can-eat” cheese platter,

Ein_Kamonim_Salad_Labane_Lunch

which comes with a variety of salads, olives,

Ein_Kamonim_Salad_Bread_Lunch (1)

and a lovely basket of fresh whole grain rolls. It also includes a carafe of wine, water and homemade lemonade.

Ein Kamonim Goat Farm and Restaurant
Acre-Safed Highway 85, between Hanania Intersection & Nahal Amud
Ein Camonim
Phone: 057-942-8691

A Moroccan Fantasy in Israel

I have been talking for the last several years about driving up to the north for the day and going to the Moroccan Fantasy (פנטזיה מרוקאית) store in Hatzor Haglilit to find a tagine. I have always joked that I must of have been Moroccan in a past life because I love Moroccan architecture and design, food and music.

Morocco Fantasy Store

Finally, Mr BT and I went there a few Fridays ago and when we first drove through the industrial zone and entered the parking area of the store, the front of the store didn’t look like anything special.

Tagines

But then we looked to our right and gasped in delight at the sea of tagines,

Tables_Sinks

tiled tables and sinks,

Planters

and beautiful planters.

Moroccan_Fantasy_Inside

The moment I walked in the store, I knew I was home. It fulfilled all our expectations and more.

Moroccan_Painted_Screens

The first place I gravitated to was the back of the store where they had beautiful hand-painted

Moroccan_HandHammered_Doors

hand-hammered,

Moroccan_Doors

and my personal favorite, hand-carved doors which I could picture as the entrance to our master bedroom.

Moroccan_Lamps

Moroccan_More_Lamps

The other thing that caught my eye were the beautiful light fixtures.

Tagines_Vases_Pots

But after coming back down to earth, I focused on the real reason I came to the store, which was to buy a tagine that I could cook with. They have beautiful decorative tagines for serving, but you cannot use them for cooking.

Tagines (1)

When buying a tagine for cooking or serving, make sure they have a label on them that says “sans plomb”, which means “without lead”. And of course, always make sure you buy from a reputable dealer.

Fire_Base_for_Tagine

If you want to cook with a tagine in the traditional way, you can buy a stand for it and cook using wood or charcoal. I decided to forgo this for now, but will buy one in the future.

Tagine

I came home with a rustic tagine perfect for making one of Paula Wolfert’s lovely recipes. But, I will be going back to buy doors, tiles, lamps….. Mr. BT’s bank manager had better watch out!

Moroccan Fantasy
Industrial Zone
Hatzor HaGlilit
Open: Sunday-Thursday 0800 – 1600
Friday 0800 – 1430
Telephone: 04-6800744 or 050-2766965

Borough Market Part II – International Stalls

Borough Market

Here is my second and final installment about Borough Market. The market has an extensive international representation with stalls from Italy, France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, and so on. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Middle Eastern Pastries

Olive Oils

Empanadas

Alfahores

Brindisa_Tortas

Cassoulet

Great_Sign

Lardo

Olives

Pan_de_higo_con_alemendras

Pancetta

Wild_Thyme_and_Fir_Honey

Turkish_Treif_Wrap

I am a bit confused as to why a Turkish sandwich would contain roast pork. Hmmmm….

Borough Market Part 1- A Feast for the Eyes and the Mouth

Over the last few years, London has developed the reputation of being one of the best food cities in the world, with celebrity chefs such as Marco Pierre White, Gordon Ramsey and Marcus Wareing opening restaurants all over town. But another sign of how London has created a new food culture is the gourmet food markets that have sprung up to cater for the increasingly sophisticated palates of Londoners (who are, of course, a tremendous cultural mix in themselves).

The most famous of these gourmet markets is Borough Market, squeezed under the railway arches of London Bridge Station on the unfashionable south side of the Thames (which technically wasn’t London but the separate city of Southwark, whose medieval cathedral lies right next to the market). London Bridge attracted traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock from as far back as the 11th century. In the 13th century traders relocated to what is now Borough High Street, and a market has existed there ever since.

It  is one of London’s oldest wholesale fruit and vegetable markets, established by Act of Parliament in 1756 and administered by 21 trustees who have to live in the local community. It covers an area of 4.5 acres. Borough Market, as we know it today, began over 10 years ago.

Borough Market Sign

Borough’s gourmet food market has about 70 stalls and stands. The traders come from all over the country bringing a range of fresh produce, fish, meats, vegetables, ciders, cheeses, breads, coffees, cakes and produce imported from abroad. It is open Thursday to Sunday.

This first post is dedicated to the British food stalls in the market.

Best_British_Cheese

Trethowan’s Gorwydd (pronounced Gor-with) Caerphilly is a mature Caerphilly made to a traditional recipe using raw (unpasteurised) milk. The Trethowen family — owners of Gorwydd Farm in the village of Llanddewi Brefi (say that 10 times fast) in Ceredigion, West Wales — is one of the only Caerphilly producers left in Wales.

Welsh Cheese

This semi-firm cheese is aged from nine to twenty weeks, during which time the cheese develops a thick, velvety, natural rind. It is a lovely sharp cheese that is a must for those who like a nice, crumbly yet creamy, tangy, slightly lemony cheese. A very versatile cheese to use either in cooking, crumbled over vegetables, or as part of a cheese board.

Gluten_Dairy_Free_Victorian_Sponge

Sugargrain makes beautiful gluten-free, dairy-free and wheat-free goodies that taste as good as they look.

Gluten_Free_Parsnip_Pear_Cake

Their parsnip, pear and sea-salted caramel cake is as moist as a carrot cake. The sign says “Just think white carrot cake”.

Hot Ginger Boys

I really like the clever remarks under each sign: their Hot Ginger Boy cookies say, “Girls go weak at the knees”.

Pietanic

Pieminister is a family owned business from Bristol that was started by brothers-in-law: one is a classically-trained chef and the other managed successful pubs in London. They now sell their savoury and sweet pies all over England. The Pietanic is a new arrival that is made with smoked haddock, salmon and pollock in a rich, creamy parsley sauce topped with a cheddar crumb pastry.

Irish_Soda_Bread

A Rick Stein Food Hero, Aston’s Organic Bakery of London has been baking  hand made breads, cakes and pastries since 1985.

Jumbo_English_Muffins

The Flour Station stall takes your breath away with its beautiful array of monster size English muffins, croissants…

Chelsea_Buns

and fragrant Chelsea buns. This bakery started in the kitchen of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant.

Note: According to a recent article in the Guardian, Flour Station has been asked to leave the market because they are now too big. I think this is a real shame for the market.

Flower_Pot_Bread

The Honest Carrot stall sells vegetarian and vegan baked goods such as the flowerpot bread shown above.

Fish

Furness Fish and Game has beautiful fresh fish and game on offer. They also sell freshly made paella and Thai stir fry.  The Sussex Smoothhound in the photo above is a member of the shark family.

Whiting

They also sell plenty of other fresh fish as well as potted shrimps, smoked fish and much, much more.

Large_Scallops

Shellseekers Fish & Game is famous for their large selection of scallops, but food bloggers and photographers beware, they will chase you out of the shop if you try to take a photo.

My_Favorites_Rasp_Straw

Finally, there were a few stalls that were selling picture perfect British raspberries and strawberries. I couldn’t leave the market without buying a pint of beautifully, sweet raspberries. They were worth every penny.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The International Stalls.

 

Spring Fair of Homemade Wines at Soreq Winery

This post is from last year. This year’s festival will be on Friday, 29 April from 1000 – 1600. Don’ t miss it.

Soreq Winery, one of the first boutique wineries in Israel, is situated between the Ayalon and Soreq valleys, in a region where wine was produced as early as 3,000 years ago. The Shacham family founded the Soreq winery in 1994. Nir Shaham is the vintner and his parents, Heli and Yossi, are the proprietors. They now produce 10,000 bottles a year from a 30-year-old vineyard as well as a younger vineyard planted on the nearby slopes of the Judean Hills. The winery produces wine from Merlot, Grenache, Petit Verdoux, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes.

Shortly after opening their winery, Nir Shaham, gave courses on winemaking which developed into the Soreq School of Winemaking. This school is attended by amateurs and professionals who are interested in winemaking at home or for those whose dream is to open a boutique winery, which is becoming more and more fashionable in Israel. For the past several years, Soreq winery has organized a homemade wine fair in the spring that showcases their current and past students. Some of their well-known offspring are Avidan, Mond, Nachshon, and Kadesh Barnea wineries.

This year’s fair featured about 40 winemakers, most of whom made only red wines, such as Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Shiraz, but there were a few brave souls that make white wines, dessert wines, and even one winemaker who made a decent rosé. One thing most of the home wineries have in common is that their products are not “technically” kosher, a process that costs more money than most of them can justify when the output is still small. Nevertheless, some of them produce wine that in practical terms is kosher, since they are religiously observant or traditional themselves and follow the rules of kashrut.

The enthusiasm of the winemakers was infectious and it made you want to try their wines that they have worked so hard on. Gytot Winery is a good example: Malkiel and Dina Hadari have been making wine for the past three years after Dina gave the Soreq Winery course as birthday present to her wine-loving husband. She told him, “You love drinking wine and talk about it all of the time, why don’t you try making it yourself.” They now have six oak barrels and all of the equipment they need to produce several thousand bottles of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This was my first time at the fair and I must say that I was quite impressed with the wines on offer, most of which I would buy and happily serve to guests at dinner. Actually, the real difficulty was deciding which were the best so that I could buy some without breaking the bank, even though the average price was about 70NIS (20USD) a bottle.

And if you are worried about drinking too much on an empty stomach, there were also beautiful vegetarian tapas for sale from Maya Ben Tzvi, a caterer who specializes in healthy vegetarian gourmet dishes.

Some of the tapas were grilled portobello mushrooms with a dollop of tomato confit, topped with a miniature potato pancake, stuffed zucchini and eggplant, and bruschetta with various toppings, such as poached pears and Roquefort cheese. They were delicious.

And to close your meal, you could try a delicious and not too sweet Delicate Passionfruit liqueur from the Fishbein family farm at Ein Irron in the north of the country.

Next year, I hope there will be an even bigger selection of wines, especially including whites and rosés; but I better have a hearty breakfast first.

Soreq Winery Homemade Wine Fair
Entrance fee: 55NIS
Moshav Tal Shachar
08-9450844

Shiva, Matza Balls, and the Morpurgo Family

Ghetto Entrance Bologna

A few months after my husband met his business partner, Silvano, who is originally from Venice, he told him about my family connection to Italy. Silvano’s eyes got big and he said, I think your wife and I might be related. After checking with his mother and an aunt, sure enough we are related by marriage.

Shift to six years later, and Silvano came and ate with Mr BT and me during the shiva of my mother-in-law. Silvano and I started talking about Italian Jewish holiday dishes and got to the subject of Pesach and matza balls. I told him that my family made unusual matza balls,  and I haven’t met a lot of people who are familiar with them. So, he asked how we made them. I explained we make them with whole matza and add nutmeg….. he looked at me and said very casually, “What is so special about those?! Those are the Morpugo matza balls and I haven’t met anyone else who makes them that way.” We both laughed and I paused for a minute. “Wait a minute.”, I said, “we are related on my paternal grandfather’s side of the family, but this recipe comes from my paternal grandmother’s side!”

He called me a few days later to say that he called one of his Morpugo aunts to tell her the story and she said, “Who needs a DNA test, the matching matza ball recipes confirm we are family!”

Italian Vacation

Italian Reds

It is hard to believe that Mr BT and I were in Italy almost two months ago. We had planned a beautiful two week vacation, but sadly we had to leave five days into the trip due to my mother-in-law taking a turn for the worse.

Italian Savories

As I took the photos in Bologna of the beautiful food market and food shops, I was so looking forward to the numerous posts I planned for the blog. However, when I looked back at pictures this past week, I realized our hearts weren’t really in it. Mr BT and I were constantly worried: had we made the right decision to listen to the doctor and go ahead with the trip, wouldn’t your mother love walking through the streets with us, wouldn’t your Dad have loved this fish restaurant, wouldn’t my Dad love this museum…..

Cafe in Ferrara

When I called the owners of the farmhouse in Le Marche to tell them we had to cancel our stay, they said, “We are sorry, but don’t worry, we aren’t going anywhere, come stay with us next spring.” And that is exactly what we are going to do, go back and do it all over again.

Organic Farmers Market in Tel Aviv

Organic farming is nothing new in Israel, but given the fact that several Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms have popped up over the last several years and regular supermarkets are pushing organic products, not to mention the Eden Teva supermarket chain, you would think that Israel has just been introduced to the organic way of life.

It is quite the contrary. In 1958, a group of people of various backgrounds decided to create a moshav based on a vegetarian, vegan, and organic lifestyle and ideology. The founders of Amirim were among the pioneers of the vegetarian movement in Israel. The Israel Bio-Organic Agricultural Association (Tuv Hassadeh) was founded in the late 1970s by an 84-year-old farmer, Mario Levy, from Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu in the north of the country. It was quite difficult in the beginning to convince Israeli farmers to forego the use of pesticides, but now there are over 500 farmers who are members of the association and produce 13% of farm products in Israel.

Organic products and produce could always be found in the various health food stores in Tel Aviv, but now there is a dedicated famers market at HaTahana (The Train Station), the beautifully renovated Ottoman-period train station on the Tel Aviv-Yafo border. The Tel Aviv municipality and the Israel Bio-Organic Agricultural Association opened the farmers market as a joint project.

Every Friday, approximately 40 stalls with food growers and manufacturers, all certified members of the association, sell products such as cakes, dairy products, eggs, and of course beautiful seasonal fruits and vegetables.

The vendors at Shuk HaCarmel are always finding clever, but generally noisy, ways to advertise their products to the crowd of shoppers. The organic farmers market, by contrast, was relaxed, peaceful and unpushy.

At Orbanic, the attractive vendors smile and proudly talk about their produce, with passion in their eyes, and visible pleasure, the results of their hard work. Like on the face of Or Glicksman, who gives you a big beautiful smile when he describes his organic vegetables from his father’s farm on Kibbutz Gal-On in the southern part of the country.

And the cute guy from the Negev who was selling his sweet and juicy little mangoes and perfectly round cherry tomatoes.

There are vendors selling organic large-leafed purslane, from imported seedlings from France that are acclimated in hothouses at Kardesh Barnea in the Negev, and large shoots of lemongrass, waiting for a Vietnamese stir fry.

You can even take home the much sought after Aba Gil’s organic hummous, quiches, and brown rice pilaf. Their quiches are egg, wheat and dairy free.

And you can also take home romaine lettuce seedlings, which I bought for my garden along with 1 kg of spelt flour, 3 desert mangoes, a yellow and green striped pumpkin, olives marinated in red wine and herbs, and pickled baby eggplants.

Mario Levy must be smiling on his cloud as he looks down and sees how even in the big city, the movement that he helped start has achieved so much popularity.

Orbanic Farmers Market
HaTahana
2 Yehezkel Kaufmann Street
Tel Aviv
Open: Fridays, 0800-1500

Cheeses for the Tasting

Yossi and the Gang

Thirty years ago, when my husband moved to Israel, there were basically six types of cheese available in supermarkets and groceries, all from the monopolist dairy cooperative Tnuva: one type of cottage cheese, one soft white cheese to spread, two hard “white” cheeses — Tzfatit and Bulgarian — and two hard “yellow” cheeses. Since then, the variety of cheese available in Israel has multiplied more than 100 times, with boutique cheese makers sprouting up all over the country and producing cheeses that can compare favorably with anything from France or Italy. And Tnuva, after facing massive competition from both the boutiques and several medium sized dairy food companies, is now privatized.

The selection of boutique cow, sheep and goat cheeses that one can find at almost any supermarket in Israel, let alone farmers’ markets or food fairs, now rivals that of the average large European supermarket, and certainly outweighs what you normally find in Britain and the United States. To slightly misquote the well known saying, “not only the appetite comes with the eating, but also the curiosity”: Israeli consumers have become more and more ambitious in their tastes both thanks to the growing variety of local products and their passion for foreign travel, and the result has been that there is also tremendous demand for imported cheese, as well as wine and other products.

Recently, we went to a cheese tasting at a food importer located near our home, organized by our friend Yossi David, whom we first met when he organized a wine tasting at his home outside Jerusalem last year. The importer, Shevic, has a big metal barn sitting on what is probably worth US $1 million of land in one of the most expensive villages in the country, Bnei Tzion, but the stock of cheese that he keeps in the refrigerated store room on one side probably justifies the location, because he is one of the main suppliers of premium imported cheeses as well as a few other products to supermarkets, high-end groceries and specialist cheese shops, such as Basher in Machane Yehuda.

Shevi Cheese Importers

Alon Aberbuch and his partner Eyal normally don’t sell directly to the public, but because Yossi promised to bring two dozen odd discriminating cheeseaholics to try their wares, they laid on a beautiful spread, complete with some homemade bread that Yossi’s wife Dina contributed to the festivities, as well as some some smoked salmon and imported Greek olives.

Italian Provolone

Shevic imports some very interesting cheeses and I had fun perusing a world of different varieties, such as the beautiful Italian provolone above.

Cheese for the Tasting

The tasting offered both kosher and non-kosher cheeses: Sage Derby from England, French Brie, Montagnolo, which is a Gorgonzola-like creamy blue cheese from Germany, Dutch Gouda, and a couple of French goat cheeses.

They also served a variety of sheep cheeses from the Eretz Zavat Chalav u’Dvash (Land of Milk and Honey) dairy in Moshav Nechalim, near Petach Tikvah. This dairy makes delicious kosher sheep cheese of which I brought home two samplings: sheep cheese wrapped in vine leaves and one with a vein of red wine.

French Basque Sheep Cheese

I also found some cheeses I had never tried before: one was a French Basque semi-firm sheep cheese called Baskeriu, which has a slightly nutty taste. I also found a very interesting soft Circassian goat cheese, a round flat cheese without a rind, made in Rekhaniya, a Circassian village in northern Israel near Tzfat.

Greek Olives

Shevic also imports delicious Greek olives and olive oil as well as some Mexican salsas, barbecue and hot sauces from the United States.

My husband and I had a wonderful time meeting other foodies, tasting the delicious cheeses, and drinking a delicious 2007 Shaked Cabernet Sauvignon that Yossi had brought from Yehuda Winery, located in Moshav Shoresh, near Jerusalem. We came home with Belgian butter which I will only use to make my grandmother’s butter cookies, Montagnolo cheese, two cheeses from Eretz Zavat Chalav u’Dvash, two bottles of Yehuda Cabernet Sauvignon, and a big smile.

Related Posts with Thumbnails