Tastes of Israel
“Only a Hebrew Banana” – a poster that was published in the 1930s promoting Jewish agricultural produce. During this period, young kibbutzim and moshavim were struggling under difficult security and financial conditions. The Organization for the Produce of Israel led a campaign trying to persuade the Yishuv – the Jewish residents of Palestine — to support Jewish agriculture and industry.
Possible Primary Sources
Newspaper advertisements for food and restaurants, posters promoting Jewish produce, posters advertising food products, photographs of farming and markets, songs about food, calendars featuring food, and Shana Tova cards illustrating festive food.
Shuk Machane Yehuda, Druze villages
“Please Order in Hebrew in Cafés and Restaurants” — a poster published by the Ministry of Education in 1950. The poster was part of a campaign to teach Hebrew to the many new immigrants and to have them use the language in their daily lives. The poster includes Hebrew words for food and utensils and even suggests menus for the different meals.
Israel is well known today for its abundance of high quality fresh food and diverse cuisine. Israeli cuisine comprises a Mediterranean cuisine which has been influenced by the various cooking styles of Jews who arrived in Israel from all over the world. The many open markets sell a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and the restaurants sell food from Arabic origins such as falafel, hummus and shakshuka alongside eastern European foods such as gefilte fish, herring, kugel, and cholent. Other influences on the Israeli diet are the Jewish festivals, and challah, latkes, doughnuts, cheesecakes, matzah, and other special dishes are available according to the time of week or year. In addition to all of this culinary richness, Israeli restaurants offer new innovative dishes based on international cuisine and local agricultural produce.