Thursday, January 22, 2015

Visiting Shuk Machane Yehuda

photo by Ariel Palmon
Although I lived all over the USA, I spent most of my summers in Jerusalem where my oldest brother and sister lived. We used to go to the Machane Yehuda shuk, and I got really grossed out. The whole place smelled like dead fish, it was hot (I was always there in the summer), and they had way too many pieces of dead animals in full view (like chicken feet)... I also remember it being absurdly crowded (because we probably mostly went on Friday mornings), and I remember thinking that personal shopping carts were the pinnacle of nerdiness.

For the first time, I really let myself enjoy the shuk today. My work had a fun day, which was a tasting tour of the shuk, followed by lunch. I'm not going to go into the tastings because you'll all be really hungry.
We  heard about the history of the shuk, and tasted a number of incredible flavors, from French ice cream and Israeli-made artisanal cheeses to etrog juice and malawach.

I discovered -
1. Only parts of the shuk stink.
2. It's not hot in winter (we had PERFECT weather).
3. There are no longer chicken feet in plain view. I assume they still exist somewhere, but they're not hanging out there for everyone to see.
4. Wednesday morning is a better time to go than Friday morning.
5. I no longer care how nerdy I look, and I only wished I'd had a cart and the time to fill it with the super fresh-looking produce.

I can't wait to go shopping at the shuk again!

If you're interested in a tasting tour or general tours in Israel, I highly recommend our guide Joel Haber.