Search Results for: Machane Yehuda

Taking the Shuk to the Next Level

crowds in the covered market

A typically crowded day in the shuk

Anyone who has spent any time on my blog, or just getting to know me, knows how much I love Jerusalem’s famous outdoor market, Shuk Machane Yehuda. I’ve written a lot about it, I guide there all the time, I’ve been featured in videos and magazine articles about it, and I even like to hang out there on my own free time, too.

Many of you may also know about the tools I’ve created to help tourists (and local residents) maneuver through the shuk more easily and find what they need. I made the only comprehensive and updateable map of the market (and yes, I know it is in serious need of another update — soon, I hope), as well as a calendar that showed when various fruits and vegetables came into season in Machane Yehuda market.

Still, I felt that even with all of the things I do connected with the market, I wanted to do some special things to deepen my connection. After all, I see the market as the beating heart of the city I love, so what better way to express my love for Jerusalem than by kicking my relationship with the shuk up another notch. And so I’ve done a few things of late to take it to the next level!

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A Peek into Jerusalem’s Future

New Jerusalem train station

The escalator that descends to the new underground Jerusalem train station.

I have written before about Batim MiBifnim – Jerusalem Open Houses, both my general appreciation of the free event and about a tour I guided in a previous year. For those who are unfamiliar, this is an annual event that lasts three days. There are walking tours, entry into architecturally interesting private homes and public visits to normally closed, private institutional buildings — all for free! And even though most tours are in Hebrew, there is still plenty to see even for English speakers. In short, it is a peek into a secret side of the city, a real treat for those who love Israel’s capital.

Of course, there is no greater secret than the future. So at this year’s event (a few weeks ago), I focused much of my time on tours that would allow me a window into where the city’s development is heading.

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State of the Shuk – December 2015

Wall of bottles of Israel Beer

The new Beer Bazaar, featuring 100 Israeli craft-brewed beers

As you all know, I love the shuk (Machane Yehuda Market), and am there multiple times a week, often giving tasting tours, or just going there to hang out. So therefore I notice every single change that takes place there, from the smallest stand closing, to a change in what a stand sells, to a restaurant moving from one location to another.

That is why, when I made my map of every stand in Machane Yehuda last year, I specifically sought a way to make it easily updateable. Other maps I’d seen attempted were out of date virtually before the ink was dry on the page (or before the webpage updated). So I labeled the sections of the shuk, and then made a text list to go with it, knowing the stores would change but the streets wouldn’t.

That map came out over a year ago, so I realized it was long overdo for an update. And so I recently did a walk-through at the shuk, writing down all of the things that I needed to change. So today I proudly present you with a fully updated map!

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On the Radio This Friday

Logo of the Nachum Segal Network

I’ll be in the Nachum Segal Network this Friday

I am pleased to announce that I will be interviewed as a call-in guest this coming Friday (January 9th, 2015) on the Nachum Segal Network. I will have the pleasure of “appearing” on the show “Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” to discuss culinary travel in Israel. The show starts at 9 AM, Eastern Time.

In particular I will be discussing my tours of Machane Yehuda Market, but we will obviously discuss many other things as well. So I hope you will all tune in to listen. And I am fairly certain the show will be archived later, so if you miss it live, look for it afterwards. I will be the first guest of the show.

“Table for Two with Naomi Nachman” is a weekly show hosted by Naomi, the Aussie Gourmet. Naomi interviews many personalities from the kosher food world, and I am excited to be one of her guests this week. As it turns out, though we’d lost touch, Naomi and I knew each other in our younger years, so it is nice to be able to reconnect with her via food!

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Fun Joel’s Shuk Tours Offer a Taste of Jerusalem

Achema from Hatchepuria

Achema, from Hatchepuria, a Georgian restaurant

One of my more popular specialty tours has always been my Machane Yehuda tasting tour. And lately, following all of the posts I’ve written about the shuk, and the popular reception of my map of every stand in the market, these tours have become even more popular.

Still, a lot of people ask me, “So what do we do on a tour of Machane Yehuda together?” To answer that, I figured I should write a brief post to describe my tours there, and give you a taste (pun intended) of what is in store for anyone who joins me on a shuk tour. If after reading this, you are feeling hungry to join such a tour, please contact me to schedule one!

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Israeli Produce Calendar

This page is connected with my posts on Machane Yehuda Market. Click here for my post on “The Shuk Calendar.”

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Almost all produce in Israel is locally grown, and thus seasonal. Over the past year, plus, I have created a calendar of when foods first become available at Jerusalem’s Machane Yehuda Market.

The calendar below (click pictures for larger images) just marks when the seasons begin. Some produce stays in season for a long time, some very short. The calendar below is approximate, and I will try to update. It is not comprehensive, but comes close.

After the monthly calendar, I also list the produce alphabetically, so you can search to find out when something specific comes into season.

Available Year-Round

Multi-colored Cherry and Grape tomatoes

Tomatoes are available year-round in Israel

Some produce in Israel is available (more or less) the whole year, either due to different varietals, greenhouse cultivation or storage. And there is a small portion of imported produce, also lengthening seasons.

Even though these fruits and vegetables are always available, there are still better times to buy them. For example, apples are better in fall and early winter, citrus fruits and root vegetables in winter, tomatoes in late spring/early summer, etc.

Apples, Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celery, Chili Peppers, Citrus Fruits, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Fennel, Garlic (dried), Grapes, Lettuce, Melons (they sell many varieties, all simply sold as “melon,” that ripen throughout the year), Mushrooms, Onions, Potatoes, Radishes, Scallions, Summer Squash (normal dark-green zucchini isn’t always available, but other varieties are), Tomatoes.


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Mangold, Pomelo

Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, clementines, grapefruits) are starting to hit their prime.


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Asparagus, Bok Choy, Cardoon, Hass Avocado (other avocados are available before and after), Kumquat

Late February

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Chamomile, Fava Beans, Loquat, Passionfruit, Pea, Rhubarb


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Fresh Almond, Blood Orange, Fresh Chickpea, Grape Leaves

Late March

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Baby Eggplant, Corn (available, but not very good until June), Fresh Garlic (not dried, available starting a few weeks before Passover)


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Late April

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Cherry, Green Sour Plums, Nectarine, Peach, Watermelon, Winter Squashes (e.g. acorn, butternut, kobocha/Japanese pumpkin)


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Akub (Hebrew/Arabic name, aka Gundelia or Thorn Thistle – a type of small wild artichoke), Apricot, Okra, Pineapple (tiny now, bigger in a few months), Plum, Wax Bean


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Fig, Lychee


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Blackberry, Mango, Raspberry

Late July

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Avocado, Dragonfruit, Fresh Date, Jujube, Quince, Sabra (Prickly Pear/Cactus Fruit)


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Banana, Lime, Pear


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Carambola/Star Fruit, Custard Apple/Annona, Guava, Kiwi, Persimmon, Raw Olives (for home pickling)

Root vegetables starting to get large.


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Baby Artichoke, Strawberry


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Alphabetical list of Produce in Season

Acorn Squash – Late April
Akub – May
Almonds (fresh) – March
Annona – see Custard Apple
Apples – Year-round
Apricots – May
Artichokes – December
Artichokes, Baby – November
Asparagus – February
Avocado – August
Avocado, Hass – February
Bananas – September
Bell Peppers – Year-round
Blackberries – July
Blood Oranges – March
Bok Choy – February
Broccoli – Year-round
Butternut Squash – Late April
Cabbage – Year-round
Cactus Fruit – see Sabra
Carambola – see Star Fruit
Cardoon – February
Cauliflower – Year-round
Celery – Year-round
Chamomile (fresh) – Late February
Cherries – Late April
Chickpeas (fresh) – March
Chili Peppers – Year-round
Corn – Late March
Cucumbers – Year-round
Custard Apple – October
Dates (fresh) – August
Dragonfruit – August
Eggplants – Year-round
Eggplants, Baby – Late March
Fava Beans – Late February
Fennel – Year-round
Figs – June
Garlic (dried) – Year-round
Garlic (fresh) – Late March
Grapes – Year-round
Grape Leaves – March
Grapefruits – Year-round
Guava – October
Gundelia – see Akub
Japanese Pumpkin – see Kobocha

Jujube – August
Kiwi – October
Kobocha – Late April
Kumquats – February
Lemons – Year-round
Lettuce – Year-round
Limes – September
Loquats – Late February
Lychee – June
Mango – July
Mangold – January
Melons – Year-round
Mushrooms – Year-round
Nectarines – Late April
Okra – May
Olives (raw) – October
Onions – Year-round
Oranges – Year-round
Oranges, Blood – March
Papaya – April
Passionfruit – Late February
Peaches – Late April
Peas – Late February
Pears – September
Persimmon – October
Pineapple – May
Plums – May
Plums, Green Sour – Late April
Pomegranate – Late July
Pomelos – January
Potatoes – Year-round
Prickly Pear – see Sabra
Quince – August
Radishes – Year-round
Raspberries – July
Rhubarb – Late February
Sabra – August
Scallions – Year-round
Star Fruit – October
Strawberries – November
Summer Squash – Year-round
Thorn Thistle – see Akub
Tomatoes – Year-round
Watermelon – Late April
Wax Beans – May
Winter Squash – Late April

Israel Mystery Photo #22

Another Israel Mystery Photo

Where in Israel is This?

Okay folks, it is time for another Israel Mystery Photo! In this game, I show you a picture I took somewhere on tour in Israel, and then you try to identify it. Then in the next post, I put on my guide hat, and give you some more information about it! So, post your guesses here about where the picture to the left was taken. I’ll tell you all about it next time.

Meanwhile, as most people guessed last time around (both in the comments and when I posted it on Facebook), the last Israel Mystery Photo was taken at the YMCA building in Jerusalem, way up high in the bell tower. Anyone who has visited Jerusalem knows that the YMCA is one of the most beautiful structures in the city. And the tower offers some of the best 360-degree views in town.

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Spring is Springing in Israel

Fresh produce in mahane yehuda market, Jerusalem

These mangold leaves were fresh in the shuk this past week

One of my favorite things about food in Israel is that almost all of our produce is grown locally and is only available when it is in season. While I sometimes miss being able to make any dish at any time of year, like I could in the States, I know this is more environmentally friendly and that the produce is better too. Plus, you get really excited when a fruit or vegetable that you haven’t seen all year comes back into season!

With that in mind, I wanted to start keeping track of the various things as they come into season at the shuk (outdoor market) here in Jerusalem. I’m not going to be doing this in a truly formal fashion, but I do want to do my best to at least increase the available information about what is in season when in Israel. And while I did find this series of posts from the author of the Israeli Kitchen blog up at the Green Prophet website, I figured I’d take it a drop further. Just another part of my exploration of culinary Israel!

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Top 10 Things to Do in Jerusalem – Part 1

Jerusalem Old City.

The Old City of Jerusalem

I love lists like this, where people list the top things to do in a certain place. But I find that often those lists are just a rehashing of the tourist sites you can find in any Lonely Planet, Let’s Go or Fodor’s Guide. And other times they list a number of places that barely scratch the surface of the location.

So I wanted to do something a bit different with this post. This is not a list of ten places to visit in the Holy City of Jerusalem. This is going to go a little bit deeper. I want to give you some things to do so that you really get a feel for what life in Jerusalem is like. So I have chosen ten categories of things that will help you feel like a Jerusalemite while also seeing, smelling, hearing and tasting everything that my wonderful city has to offer!

Due to length, I’m splitting this post into 3 parts. Now, in no particular order…

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Top 10 Things to Do in Jerusalem – Part 2

Jerusalem Summer Street Fair. Live Band.

A band playing at one of Jerusalem's Friday afternoon summer street parties.

For the first three entries in this post: Jerusalem Top 10 – Part 1

Continuing the list:

4. Get Some Culture

Jerusalem has a thriving cultural scene, full of great music, art and crafts. And especially through the summer season (which really lasts about half the year here), there are tons of festivals that can satisfy myriad interests.

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