The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved on Sunday a bill that would ban the sale of fatty goose and duck livers, even if the force-feeding procedure did not take place in Israel.
About a decade ago the High Court of Justice ruled force-feeding of geese and the production of goose liver illegal. If the bill becomes a law, it would become impossible to purchase fatty goose liver in Israel, which can today be found in fine restaurants.
The bill was proposed by MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid) after he was inspired by the State of California, currently the only place in the world that not only bans force-feeding geese, but also the marketing of fatty goose liver.
“This is an exciting day for anyone with a conscience who knows that animals suffer just like us,” said Lipman after the bill was approved. “Israeli society had decided to ban force-feeding in order to put an end to this abuse, not in order relocate it.” Lipman added that the banning of marketing fatty liver also stems for the halakhic prohibition of causing cruelty to animals.
“Force-feeding is cruel,” said the committee chairwoman, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. “It’s abusing animals merely to serve a human desire,” she wrote in her Facebook profile shortly after the session was concluded. Livni also pointed out that in this case, geography shouldn’t play a role. “The struggle against animal cruelty doesn’t stop at the border.”
The only one to oppose the bill was Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Likud-Beiteinu). Committee members said he argued that the ministers supported the bill only to “find favor with the Tel Avivians.” The purpose of the bill is admirable, he later explained, but added that its current version does not take into account all of the implications.
The ban, he warned could, impact Israel’s agricultural exports and also bring harm to ritual Jewish slaughter in many countries that believe it causes great suffering to animals. “Due to cost-benefit considerations, we must carefully examine the implications of the proposal and give them expression in the legislative process,” he added.
The cooking of Shula, Hannah, Yulia, Doris, Tzipi and their friends from the northern Israeli city of Nazareth Illit is loved by anyone who has ever entered their kitchen. In fact, their food gained such popularity that it has even reached the White House.
A book of recipes from the kitchens of the different denominations these women come from will be included in the national health campaign of US First Lady Michelle Obama, “Let’s Move!”
It all began in an empowerment workshop for women in Nazareth Illit’s southern neighborhood, held in cooperation with JCD Israel’s Ashalim association, a non-profit organization dedicated to the planning and development of services for children and youth at risk and their families.
“We were a group of 12 women from different denominations, and every week one of us would present her kitchen and cook food she learned from her grandmother and mother. I, for example, brought the mujaddara (lentils and rice) my mother taught me to make,” says Mazalit Kleinerman, a mother of three.
“During the first meeting, the group cooked a root vegetable stew, and each of the women connected to her roots. Later, the women came in for a personal conversation and opened up to each other,” says Efrat Zohar-Levkovitz, a chef and the workshop’s instructor.
Several months later, Ashalim decided to put together a booklet containing the recipes written by the group of women from Nazareth Illit.
“It was very important for us to upgrade the recipes from the health aspect, so we added the nutritive values. The booklet was translated into English, and we reached the ‘Let’s Move!’ program of Michelle Obama, who expressed an interest in our program,” says Anat Penso, head of the interdisciplinary unit at Ashalim.
Several years ago, the Jacobs coffee brand began saluting international leaders living among us, by perpetuating their portraits through a mosaics made of coffee cups.
The first leader to be honored as part of this activity was former South African President Nelson Mandela. Now is the turn of Israel’s President Shimon Peres, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday in August.
Using 6,000 paper cups of coffee in different shades of color, the brand’s representatives created a mosaic of the president, which went on display Thursday at the Tel Aviv Port and is set to break Jacobs’s own Guinness World Record.
The mosaic was assembled for about six hours together with Israeli designer Roman Bronditz’nsky, who was hired by the Jacobs company for the project.
Have you been fantasizing about a Fauchon éclair since your last trip to Paris? Well, you’ll soon be able to buy those fluffy cream puffs and little tartlets in Israel too.
Pierre Besnainou, a French Jewish millionaire who bought Israel’s Carmel Winery with his partners, and one of Fauchon’s shareholders, wants to bring the French gourmet brand to the Holy Land.
The huge store on Place de la Madeleine in Paris, which was founded about 120 years ago, has turned into a tourist attraction and operates a café as well.
Fauchon is known for its pastries, as well as imported fruit and a large variety of delicacies such as foie gras and truffles, which are purchased by loyal customers, including some of France’s presidents. The Persian shah was also said to have delicacies flown from the gourmet food store to his palace.
Besnainou owns other food businesses in France, and is also active in the fields of communications and real estate. In Israel he is one of the owners of the Chefa catering services company.
Yedioth Ahronoth has learned that Besnainou co-founded a company with the Lagaat Baochel (“Touch Food”) Group in a bid to open a Fauchon store in Tel Aviv. Lagaat Baochel operates stores offering raw materials cooking and baking supplies, as well as cooking classes with the stars of Channel 2′s “Master Chef” show.
The company is also co-partner (50%) in the Street Food Bazaar at Tel Aviv’s Sarona compound – a music and food market which will be opened this year in a building that used to be a winery – and is considering opening a Fauchon store in a different building in the compound.
Besnainou and the owners of Lagaat Baochel visited Paris several months ago and decided that a professional team from the gourmet shop would visit Israel.
Lagaat Baochel founder Zvika Karouby told Yedioth Ahronoth that the plan was to open one large branch in Israel which would include a café and a gourmet food store – either in Sarona or the Ramat Aviv Mall – as well as pastry and product stands in shopping malls.
Fauchon will import the delicacies to Israel, while the pastries and breads will be made on the site, with the knowledge and guidance of the French team.
Lagaat Baochel currently has restaurants in Melisron malls in Raanana, Petah Tikva, Haifa and Rishon Lezion. “We are in talks to find a place at the Ramat Aviv Mall,” Karouby says.
Aren’t you afraid of bringing a gourmet food store to Israel at a time of economic slowdown?
“We are not alone,” says Karouby. “We have a partner who is one of the Fauchon owners, who will make sure we get attractive prices. Fauchon has excellent quality, and the price differences will not be big.
“We are confident that we are making the right move. Fauchon is not very expensive. We just saw, during the visit to France, that a macaroon costs only €1.7 ($2.2) and an éclair €2.2 ($2.85). In Israel they will be sold at up to 15% more, but the quality will be excellent and identical to the original products.”
Chef Asaf Granit of Machneyuda (Photo: Tom Lahat)
A culinary celebration will be held in Los Angeles on the State of Israel’s 65th Independence Day. The local consulate has decided to divert from the tradition of a holiday reception, and instead offer pro-Israel celebrities in the West Coast of the United States a taste of Israeli wine and gourmet food.
Israel’s consul-general in Los Angeles, David Siegel, has invited the chefs of Jerusalem’s famous Machneyuda restaurant – Asaf Granit and Uri Navon – to cooperate with well-known chefs in LA and present the culinary prosperity in the Israeli kitchen.
The chefs will offer a menu consisting of Machneyuda’s best dishes, replacing the fresh produce of Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market with that of Santa Monica Farmers’ Market.
“In Hollywood there are two options: Either talking about the conflict, and you can talk to yourself about that, or working on issues they are interested in, like television and productions in Israel which we are trying to promote, and bringing food and wine made in Israel to Hollywood,” explained Consul-General Siegel.
“We engage in exposing the different angles of Israel – from high-tech to the industry, to art, cinema and culinary culture.”
As part of the celebrations, the two Israeli chefs will be the guests of Nobu Malibu, which is part of a chain of restaurants co-founded by actor Robert De Niro and Israeli film producer Meir Teper.
The restaurant, which hosts top Hollywood stars, is located on the Malibu beach and has become the meeting place for the likes of Steven Spielberg and David Geffen.