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!
My shuk tours typically last between 1 1/2 and 2 hours, though I can certainly do a shorter or slightly longer version. I begin with an introduction to the market, briefly tracing its history and development, and discussing the types of foods you can find there. We usually also have a taste of some fruit that has just come into season, and thus is sweet and delicious. And the intro also touches on the relationship between a city and its food, and thus between Jerusalem and Machane Yehuda Market.
Then we begin our actual tour, winding our way through the various streets of the shuk. Along the way, I arrange for tastings of many different types of food and drink, main dishes and desserts or snacks. I explain the ethnic origins of each, and what makes that food special. Along the way, I also share tidbits about the various personalities and unique establishments in the market itself, though the food really remains the main focus.
I believe that by exploring a culture’s cuisine, you gain a window onto its soul. And so by both tasting and learning about the foods of the various cultures that make up Jerusalem’s culinary scene, you can begin to understand the population that makes up this unique and special city.
Though pretty much anyone (kids and adults alike) have enjoyed my Machane Yehuda tours, as a foodie and cook, I am in my element when guiding other foodies. Among others who I have had the pleasure to guide in the shuk are a number of food bloggers, a well-known cookbook author, a food stylist/photographer and many others who simply love food.
A few words on logistics:
— I do not give shuk tours on Fridays, as the market is too crowded then to truly experience it properly.
— I have done and can do larger groups, but the ideal size for a shuk tour is in the 1-6 person range.
— Due to their popularity, I have also created special pricings for my Machane Yehuda tasting tours.
So if you or your group are interested in booking me for a culinary tour in Shuk Machane Yehuda, please get in touch! And if you’d like to incorporate a visit to the market into a larger full-day tour in Jerusalem, that is of course another option.