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Israeli farmers name new variety of melon after Justin Timberlake

Posted on:
May 26, 2014
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Superstar singer Justin Timberlake’s anticipated arrival and performance here in Israel has fans on the edge of their seats. In one moshav in the south, however, Timberlake fans decided to go above and beyond in welcoming the pop sensation.

Agrarians in Ein Yahav, the moshav which lies in the northern Arava just near the border with Jordan, are naming a new variety of melon after Timberlake.

The new “Justin” melon is yellow on the outside and orange on the inside. It is known for its sweet taste and its three-week shelf life.

The farmers at Ein Yahav hope that the melon will also serve as a good-luck charm for Timberlake, bringing him a long, healthy life and continued success in his musical career.

The melon will reach supermarkets during the Rosh Hashanah holiday period.

:: JPost.com

#FoodieFriday: Toffee Caramel Cheesecake Edition

Posted on:
May 23, 2014
Blog, Lifestyle
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For today’s #FoodieFriday, we’re continuing our dairy theme from last week for Shavuot with a delicious cheesecake recipe. Buzzfeed posted “20 Cheesecakes To Dream About Tonight“, and we’ve decided to give the Toffee Caramel Cheesecake a try!

Toffee Caramel Cheesecake



    • 2 1/2 cups graham crackers crumbs
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cups butter, melted
    • 1/2 cup toffee bits

Cheesecake Filling

    • 16 oz. cream cheese (2 8 oz. blocks), room temperature
    • 1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 3 eggs, room temperature
    • 1 cup toffee bits
    • 1/2 cup caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce)


  • 1 cup caramel sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel Sauce), slightly melted for easier pouring
  • 1/3 cup toffee bits


For the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. In a large bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar and melted butter. Press evenly in and up the sides of a lightly greased 10-inch springform pan.
  3. Sprinkle toffee bits evenly over crust. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

For the cheesecake

  1. In bowl of stand mixer combine cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk, mixing on low speed until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time, until combine. Add vanilla and caramel. Be careful not to overmix.
  2. Fold in toffee bits. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center is set.
  4. Cool cheesecake for 30 minutes on wire rack. Slightly loosen cheesecake from pan by running a knife around the edges. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. When ready to serve, garnish by pouring caramel sauce over the top and sprinkling with toffee bits.
  6. Keep leftovers tightly wrapped in the refrigerator.

:: Bakerita.com

#FoodieFriday: Pizza with Grilled Eggplant and Fresh Basil

Posted on:
May 16, 2014
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Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 11.20.24 AM

Over the next few weeks, we here at SDM will be showcasing dairy recipes to get you ready for Shavuot! Today’s #FoodieFriday recipe is for pizza with grilled eggplant and fresh basil!


  • olive oil for brushing eggplant
  • 1 small eggplant
  • about 12 medium whole fresh basil leaves
  • about 1/3 cup prepared pizza sauce
  • 2/3 cup grated mozzarella cheese
  • prepared pizza dough for one pizza


Set oven to broil (about 500 degrees).

Slice eggplant into rounds about 1/3-inch thick. Brush with olive oil and grill for a few minutes, about 2-3 minutes, on each side, until tender. Set aside. If you don’t have a grill handy, you could also roast them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 300 degrees on a baking sheet.

Spread a layer of pizza sauce on top of the dough. On top of the sauce, arrange the grilled eggplant slices in a single layer and tuck a whole basil leaf under each slice. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may have some leftover. Dip it in the sauce and eat it as an appetizer while you’re waiting for your pizza to cook!

Chop 3-4 whole basil leaves coarsely, then sprinkle them on top of the pizza, followed by a layer of grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake pizza in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is just bubbly and crust is lightly golden brown.

Note that as with most pizza recipes, the amount needed is really an approximation, so feel free to adjust and add more or less as you like.

:: About.com

Israel admitted into cheese makers’ guild

Posted on:
May 15, 2014
Blog, Business
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The France-based international cheese makers’ association, La Guilde Internationale des Fromagers, is opening its first office in Israel and has chosen Nany Seyman, who imports cheese and gourmet food, as its lead representative in Israel.

Israel’s membership in the guild will help encourage its commerce ties with France and advance the field of culinary.

A delegation of senior officials from the prestigious association landed in Israel earlier this week to closely monitor the developing culinary scene in the Holy Land. The past few years have seen a significant growth in the consumption and manufacturing of gourmet cheese, mainly from France.

During their visit, the guild’s representatives met with many Israelis, from loyal cheese consumers to pioneering manufacturers. They shared their extensive professional knowledge with their new colleagues and invited them to visit the big league.

The highlight of the visit will take place on Thursday at the residence of France’s Ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave, where the prestigious La Guilde Internationale des Fromagers membership will be presented to a number of selected Israelis, including chef Meir Adoni, gastronomist Michal Ansky and local boutique cheese makers.

The members of the Israeli office, led by Nany Seyman, were chosen for their contribution to the developing industry of gourmet cheese in Israel.

“As far as I am concerned, the guild’s recognition is a celebration for the entire state,” said Seyman.

“Israel is slowly drawing closer to Europe.” “The international guild’s decision to appoint eight representatives in Israel is a result of the growing interest Israel is showing in the cheese industry and of the expertise accumulated in Israel in this field,” said Ambassador Maisonnave.

“The Israeli consumer has become much more demanding about the quality of cheese he or she consumes and has learned to appreciate the quality of cheese from France. The easement of imports Israel has decided on is expected to lead to a reduction in the prices of French cheese sold in Israel,” he added.

“We have a lot to be proud of,” said Michal Ansky. “There is amazing goat cheese produced in Israel, which changes according to seasons. Thanks to consumer awareness and small boutique dairies that avoid using powdered milk, we are in a respectable place on the global cheese map.”

:: YNetNews.com

Tour Israel: Days of wine

Posted on:
May 15, 2014
Lifestyle, Travel
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It is no secret that our wine-making abilities have been on the up in Israel for some time now. Israeli wines are feted around the globe, winning medals and competitions galore, and new boutique wineries just keep on springing up. Wine-related tourism has also enjoyed a surge in recent years. There are vineyards and wineries to visit, and the wares thereof to taste, all over the country.

Wine has been on the national and cultural agenda for thousands of years, and the iconic outsized bunch of grapes that we associate with the biblical story of the fumbled espionage foray by 12 representatives of the Children of Israel into Canaan is an ever-present reminder not only of the need to maintain an honest approach to life but also of the joys to be had by imbibing a decent vintage.

The upturn in interest in wine, wineries and vineyards has prompted the Tourism Ministry to establish Wine Routes in various grape cultivation-friendly regions. The routes are designed to encourage people from urban and other environments to seek out new parts of the country and follow trails that wind their way among all kinds of boutique wine-producing facilities and, if they have the time, to avail themselves of local rustic accommodation and other local entertainment, cultural and fun services.

Wine-related tourism activities have proliferated all over the country in recent years, with the Judean Plains and the area around Jerusalem one of the leading regions of the sector. The Mateh Yehuda area is home to some 20 wineries, such as the Hans Sternbach Vineyard at Moshav Givat Yeshayahu, the Sea Horse Winery at Moshav Bar-Giora, the Tzora Vineyards, the Agur Winery, the Flam Winery near the Kedoshim Forest and the Domaine du Castel winery at Ramat Raziel.

Today, many wineries offer the public more than just wine and wine tasting. Hans Sternbach Vineyard, for example, comprises the organic Janaba Vineyard, an organic garden, a restaurant and a venue for small events, as well as tours and wine tasting. HSV produces around 16,000 bottles a year. (For more information: www.hsw.co.il) At the other end of the Ella Valley, the Sea Horse Winery offers a range of wines, many of which have cinematic, literary or musicrelated names. The latter feed off owner Zeev Dunie’s prior professional experience as a documentary filmmaker. The wines include the Syrah and Cabernet Fellini blend, the Syrah-based Camus, and Lennon made with Zinfandel grapes. Sea Horse also offers guided tours.

(For more information: www.seahorsewines.com/) Meanwhile, over at Moshav Agur, a visitors’ center is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

on weekends, and the winery courtyard hosts customized family events. Agur started up 15 years ago and today produces close to 20,000 bottles a year. These include the Bordeaux-style Kessem and Special Reserve, and the Syrah-Mourvedre blended Layam wine.

(For bookings and more information: 050-867-4505 andwww.agurwines.com.) Mateh Yehuda also has an annual wine festival in October. A map of the region’s Wine Way can be found at m-yehuda.org.il.) Another leader on the national wine tourism scene is the Kramim area near the Carmel region in the North. The two-day Land of Vineyards and Flavors Festival took place at Ramat Hanadiv Gardens near Binyamina in early April, with 22 wineries of all sizes on the roster. The exhibitor lineup included the Eyal Winery at Moshav Givat Nili, which produces Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Carignan wines, based exclusively on locally grown grapes.

(For more information: 057-774-4135 and Eyalwinery@gmail.com) The moshav is also home to the Alona Winery, which was established in 2001. The enterprise puts out a wide range of wines, including Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Agol.

Binyamina was represented at the festival by several ventures. In addition to a range of wines, the Asambia Winery offers meals, guided tours, wine tasting, cooking workshops and an experiential alcohol workshop.

(For more information: 054-647-4066 and www.asambia.co.il) The Binyamina Winery, which has been producing fine wines for more than 60 years, offers a wide range of quality products, such as Yogev, Binyamina Reserve, BIN and Teva. There is also a variety of liqueurs on sale on the premises. The Binyamina Winery visitors’ center is housed in a building constructed in 1925 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, and there are guided tours and wine tasting on offer.

(For more information: (04) 610-7530/5 and www.binyaminawines.co.il) Founded by Baron Rothschild in 1882, the Carmel Winery in Zichron Ya’acov is one of the best-known operators in the field. Its modern Center for Wine Culture houses a wine shop, restaurant, two specialist tasting rooms and a small cinema, as well as a barrel room in one of Rothschild’s historic underground cellars. There are also 60-minute guided tours and wine workshops.

(For more information: (04) 639-1788 and www.carmelwines.co.il) If you’re looking to take your oenophilic pursuits up a couple of notches, you can go to the Yama wine spa in Zichron Ya’acov, where you can smooth out a few brow wrinkles in a wine bath while casting an eye over a view of nearby vineyards and the Mediterranean Sea. The Yama chill-out experience also extends to grape-seed massages and Dead Sea salt scrub downs and vinotherapy body wraps.

(For more information: 077-443-1240; 054-664-4849; and www.yamaspa.co.il) Farther east, the Golan Heights region provides a plethora of wineries with assorted liquid, instructional and fun offerings.

The hilltop ventures include the awardwinning Golan Heights Winery (Tel: (04) 696-8435/09), which has a visitors’ center, offers guided tours and wine tasting, and sells wine accessories and souvenirs.

Elsewhere in the hilly region, you can find the Ein Nasahut Winery (052-279-1457), Golan Basalt Winery (Tel: (04) 696-5010), Ram Winery (054-631-1998) and the Bashan Winery (04) 676-2618), and the Bel Ofri agricultural farm (052-279-1457) at Kidmat Zvi, which offers wine workshops and dinner.

The region’s wine tourism activities recently received a boost when Tourism Minister Uzi Landau announced the launch of a NIS 250,000 pilot project that will hopefully lead to the establishment of a Wine Way in the Galilee.

Meanwhile down south, several wineries have emerged in the Negev in recent years, such as the Kadesh Barnea Winery (054- 477-4917), Derech Eretz in Mitzpe Ramon (050-526-0768 andkishfarm@gmail.com), the Sde Boker Winery on the eponymous kibbutz, which operates a visitors’ center (050-757-9212), and the Rujum Winery at the Desert Shade Eco Lodge Guesthouse in Mitzpe Ramon (054-627-7413).

There are also several wine-based festivals and other events that take place during the year, such as the Home Wineries Fair at the Sorek Winery; the White Wine Festival at the Herzliya Marina; and the Rosh Pina Wine Festival, all in May. The Four Wineries Festival at Ramot Naftali takes place in early June, and the Festivino Ra’anana is later that month.

:: JPost.com

What do Justin Timberlake and Hummus have in common?

Posted on:
May 13, 2014
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Justin and Hummus

Today is International Hummus Day! Rumour has it that JT has demanded Hummus while he visits Israel on his World Tour.

The superstar will be performing in Tel Aviv on May 28th. According to YNetNews, word on the street is that Timberlake is demanding “a platter of hummus, after [he] was instructed not to leave Israel without tasting one of its national dishes.”

We here at SDM don’t blame him! A trip to Israel would not be the same without the chickpea dip.

:: YNetNews.com