Sea Foraging in Israel

by Brandon Schultz

Aug 13, 2019

Tel Aviv, Israel © Hugoht | Dreamstime

Unique Itineraries & Tours

One of the top trends in today’s culinary circles sounds anything but upscale, but is taking high-end venues by storm: foraging. Most will think first of the wooded areas and fields when entertaining the thought of foraging, calling to mind the herbs, edible flowers and fungi that can be added flair to dishes, but, in Israel, the sea is currently drawing the attention of top chefs.

Fresh produce and seafood have long been staples of Israeli cuisine, but knowledgeable chefs in some of Israel’s top restaurants are turning their attention to the plants that can be foraged from Israel’s rich coastline, particularly the Tsafon Mishor haHof, the colloquial name given to the stretch of northern coastal plains that stretch from about 20 minutes to 70 minutes outside of Tel Aviv. Here, ingredients like sea rocket and ice plant are foraged not just for the taste and trendiness, but, more importantly, for nutritional value. Sea rocket, for example, is packed with iron and vitamin C, and is also laden with sea carnitine, an amino acid known to athletes as L-carnitine and prized for its metabolic benefits. Ice plant is packed with protein and antioxidants. With wellness serving as a top priority for the millennial travelers and foodies exploring the globe today, sea-foraged ingredients are checking all the boxes.

Ingredients like these, expertly prepared by the chefs making them regionally famous, can be found at restaurants like Helena, where Chef Amos Sion integrates them into his coveted white wine mussels or shrimp in sea rocket pesto. If you’d rather forage the ingredients yourself, join full-time forager Yatir Sade on guided adventures with his new company, Shirat HaSade. Currently, you’ll have to reach out to him on Facebook, here, to book.

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