Friday, 4 November 2011

Simply the Best

IMG_0411One of the declared purposes of our recent visit to Israel was to reacquaint myself with local food, in particular the stuff you can’t get at Australia or the stuff where Australia’s offerings pale in comparison.
My Israeli friends cooperated with this theme all the way. They decided to take us on a “best of humus” tour. As the two leading humus experts of the group couldn't decide between them which of their preferred humus restaurants is the best, they took us to both of them. The first best one they took us to, located at an Arab town in northern Israel, was closed.
The other's best one, located in the old market of Acre (also known as Akka/Akko), was so crowded with people and had such large queues that we decided we will happily live without tasting Israel’s best ever humus; we moved on to eat at another, neighboring but otherwise unfamiliar, humus place. The humus was fine by me (even if two old ladies sitting at the back were smoking and even when the toilets looked like they weren't cleaned since Napoleon dropped into town for a visit).
The next day we returned to that Arab town to recheck its best ever humus. The local professionals, my friends the tour hosts, expressed their disappointment; the humus wasn’t as best as they remembered. I was quite fine: I ate two serves.
Prior to ending the tour we stopped at an Arab bakery rumoured to offer the best of Arab delights. This means the place specializes in the likes of baklava, kanafeh and kadaif. That stuff was good! We got a decent supply to take back to my parents, which didn’t last more than two hours. My mother, however, did twist her nose: the kadaif was not the best. By her reckoning we should have bought these sweets from the famous bakery at Nazareth – everyone knows it has the best ever baklava!
Personally, I don’t get this typically Israeli obsession with only having to go for “the best” or bust. In the company of my best friends any food is the best ever. Besides, who has the authority or the ability to determine what’s best in the first place? The whole affair is rumor based anyway, a matter of latest fashions. As long as I’m enjoying myself I’m perfectly happy with the stuff that’s not on everyone’s radar at the moment.
To prove my point, I went to eat at Oved’s sabich four times while we were in Israel, including a straight three days in a row hat-trick. You have to be insane not to know Oved’s is the best serving in the universe!

Image by Moshe Reuveni, the best photographer ever


wile.e.coyote said...

You come to Israel and didn't go to Yossi to eat the best Humus?

It seems that you will need to come again and re-check Askara Humus

Moshe Reuveni said...

I would have loved to pay Humus Ashkara a visit. My problem is that Ashkara has had a dubious record with my stomach in the best of days; I do not see myself risking the well being of my stomach with Ashkara now that it (my stomach) is no longer used to such dishes.

Uri said...

you talk of Humus, but you can't fool us. We can read between between the lines.

What you're really trying to do here is pay a tribute to your best friends.

Moshe Reuveni said...

I know you're joking, but still: the point was to repeat the "best" motif many times in the context of food and then create an association with "best" in the context of friends. What worked well in my head didn't work that well after typing, though.
Regardless, I still think you're simply the best.