Monday, 5 June 2006

Dietry changes

We met with my brother today, and because he lives in the Jewish ghetto we went to eat at an "Israeli" restaurant serving "Israeli" food while surrounded by Israelis and Jews.
The reason for the extensive usage of the " symbol is the fact there is no such thing as "Israeli" food. Israel, like Australia, is a country of immigrants; if anything, Israel as a Jewish state is much younger than Australia. So just like there's no such thing as "Australian" food other than in stylish definitions such as "modern Australian cuisine", there is no such thing as Israeli food. In here you get English food with all sorts of inventory and climate related modifications (choice of fish to go with your fish & chips), and in Israel you get Arab food that's been cultured to fit trendy fashions. In both cases you get everything else as well, and the abundance of immigrants means you can pretty much get whatever food you want.
We haven't been to tonight's Israeli restaurant for quite a while - probably a year or so - and what surprised me about tonight's experience was that I didn't really enjoy my humus and my shishlick in the pita. Yes, it was nice, but it wasn't the "meet god face to face" good it used to be back at the time when humus was my main source of calories. It's not just the food, it's the wrestling with the pita while the humus drips out of it and eating it quickly before the meat goes cold; it just makes me think, hey - why bother?
So there you go: taste and habits change together when the culture around you and your physical environment change.
We enjoy lots of variety in our food, both at home and when we eat out. We do Mexican stuff, we eat lots of Indian, and between pizzas and spaghetti we manage some good Italian stuff. More rarely we do Far Eastern food, too - mainly Thai. I think I could safely say that the common element is that it's all food with strong taste; rarely do we get something bland.
What can I say? Viv la revolution!

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