It's hard to believe we've been in Tel Aviv for 4 days already. There is no easier place to eat locally than Israel, I've found, and this was only emphasized today after a walk through Ha Carmel market.
The market lifts your senses to new levels. Crowded and chaotic, people shove through the aisles, shouting niceties to vendors and wishing each other L'Shana Tova, or a happy new year, which is fast approaching.
Locals pull their two wheeled grocery carts behind them, loading up on local eggs, cheeses and vegetables for the coming Sabbath dinner. Sweet, warm bread smells linger in the air, so rich you can almost taste the honey.
A small woman in a turban uses what seems to be a steel drum and a large, hard pillow to hammer out long sheets of lavash. Deep purple eggplants entice, and herb stands tout piles of locally grown, locally ground herbs, the colors vibrant and stunning.
Fresh fruit stands overflow with bunches giant, hard grapes, and beautiful lavender figs line the whole of the market. Giant heaps of olives of different sizes and colors glisten in the breaks of sunlight. I asked a woman if the olive oil she was selling was from Israel, and she looked at me like I was a fool. "Of course ees frum Eesrael...everything eees."
I stocked up only on olives and grapes for our drive tomorrow, wishing I had more time to actually cook a meal with ingredients from this very market. But we're heading to Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, and soon we'll be leaving Israel, so there is no time to cook. While I'm excited to be out of the humidity and heat, and back to my kitchen in Seattle, I know part of me will miss Israel. The noise, the commotion, and all of those fresh, fresh ingredients.