travel tip: put it in their mouths

breakfast at the Bay Club Hotel in Haifa

This weekend, we had friends over for brunch. I was planning to make something involving lots of syrup and whipped cream, but at the last minute I decided to make an Israeli breakfast. Because, what better way to answer the question how was your trip? than to literally put your trip in their mouths. (That should be a slogan for something, right? It's so clear I went to school for advertising.)

Turn off that Nascar race and put down your cheeseburger for a second, because I have something to tell you: in places outside of the United States, people eat salad for breakfast. Israel is one of those places. An Israeli salad is some variation of finely diced tomatoes and cucumbers tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. I think I had it at every meal we ate -- and I'm definitely not complaining.
I also made it my personal mission to try shakshouka -- eggs poached in a tomato stew -- wherever I went. Shakshouka was brought to Israel by immigrants from Northern Africa and is a huge hit among local cats.
For our breakfast, I made shakshouka (best served with a big hunk of bread for dipping), Israeli salad + hard boiled egg + hummus in a pita, chocolate raspberry rugelach, and passionfruit mimosas. (expert tip: our friend accidentally grabbed a bottle of red lambrusco instead of champagne. we went with it. moral of the story: 1) the combination of passionfruit nectar and lambrusco is pretty delicious, 2) letting your friend that's been up all night working bring the alcohol is the most fun form of Russian roulette)

breakfast at the Bay Club Hotel in Haifa
This brunch was a win-win-win: we got to share the flavors of Israel with our friends, the unfamiliar food took the conversation about our trip to more interesting places than how was your trip, and I saved us about a million calories by not making almond poppyseed pancakes. 
We're definitely making this part of our travel routine -- so you better pray I never go to East Asia. I highly doubt that would turn out well.