Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gummy Bears and Olives, Shopping at Ramle Shuk, Israel, Guest Post by Hope It Will Rain

Don't let this statement 'A mother and a wannabe career women that tries to have it all but sometimes drowns in the laundry...' fool you. Yael (@yaelsr), an Israeli native, blogging at Hope It Will Rain, my second guest in the Israel series, is a mom of three kids with a PhD in Chemistry, who loves to eat and travel. I got to know Yael through Sarah who inaugurated the Israel series with her fantastic post Nazareth, Holy Sites and Tasty bites.

What grabbed me most in Yael's On the road to nowhere post is the stunning photography of the desert, ibexes and Dead Sea. More stunning is her matter of fact journal and writing about the trip, typical of Israelis and many Israeli weekends. It transcends you to that time and place and if only we would touch the screen it would whirlwind us to the lowest elevation on earth.

Yael brings you a convenient outdoor market (shuk) she shops at with rich history and a slice of Israeli life.
I'll usually start my day in Ramle market place (or shuck) with a lavish breakfast of Eli's Tunisian Sandwich: either in freshly made baguette bread or a fricassee bun, stuffed with tuna salad, hardboiled egg,  freshly sliced tomatoes, potatoes, matbucha and spicy harissa. It is simple food, yet so tasty. A lovely way to begin the day.
I do my errands pushing my checkered shopping cart around the market place, like my grandma use to do for so many years; sometimes the old ways are the best. I always have a list of groceries to follow but it only takes a few minutes of walking around the stalls and I'll abandon the list completely. Just look at all those lovely fruit and vegetables, they'll inspire anyone to cook even if one didn't plan to.
Ramle shuck was renovated in recent years, and I find it a pleasant market because it is not as big and crowdie as the ones in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem. Despite its size you can find whatever your heart desires, whether it's fresh melons or gourmet Italian Parmesan cheese. Like any market place, Ramle's shuck has its own unique types like the "the guy with the supermarket shopping cart" a well-known character in the place.
A bit of history and some Wikipedia facts: Ramla was founded circa 705–715 AD by the Umayyad Caliph Suleiman ibn Abed al-Malik after the Arab conquest of the region. The city was conquered many times in the course of its history, by the Abbasids, the Ikhshidids, the Fatamids, the Seljuqs, the Crusaders, the Mameluks, theTurks, the British, and the Israelis. Even Napoleon's French Army occupied it in 1799 on its way to Acre. Most of the town's Arab population dwindled during the 1948 Israeli War of Independence while others remained in the town. The town was subsequently repopulated by Jewish immigrants, nowadays most of the population is Jewish and about 20% Arab (16% Muslim Arabs and 4% Christian Arabs. (
So while I'm conducting my weekly shopping, I might be following the footsteps of King Richard the Lionheart and Napoleon. In the allies and streets surrounding the market there are some great eating place like Halil's restaurant which is one of the best Hummus places in the country, Maharaja- a vegetarian Indian restaurant and food store and more.
Ramle suffered for years from neglect, financial problems and low public image. In recent years attempts are made to improve and develop the city and improve its image.
Eli Tunisian Sandwich 3rd Esther Hamalka St. Ramle shuck, Ramle
Halil's 6th Kehilat Detroit St. Ramle

20 comments :

  1. I love feeling a part of different cultures. These pictures are wonderful. Thank you for sharing

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  2. The color in those pics is so brilliant! I'm so jealous of every post that features such awesome markets because my city is so lacking in good, fresh, market goods. Israel is also on my bucket list of places to go!! Love It!

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  3. Oh I love harissa! That market is so beautiful, the farmer's market is part of my Sunday ritual and seeing photos of markets from around the world makes me smile :)

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  4. What a lovely post! This market is beautiful. I love going to places like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. wow adore old markets like this thanks for taking us

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  6. Love the snack of tuna salad and eggs with harissa; might need to make something like that ASAP! Markets make me happy, so many colors and edibles! Thanks for sharing!

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  7. wow i love markets. there are veggies/fruits there that i have never seen before!

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  8. A lovely guest post! Such markets are wonderful.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  9. Nice work, Yael! That guy with the eggplants is one of my favorite stands.

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  10. Thanks for all the lovely comments, and Shulie you wrote such a lovely intro of me, it really moved me. It turned out really nice. Again I appreciate the opportunity. Have a great weekend.

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  11. Beautiful pictures! Nice work, Yael :)

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  12. Gorgeous pictures, lovely guest post and i would like tunisian sandwich NOW!

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  13. so exciting to get a glimpse of life in other parts of the world . . . am always fascinated by how food and culture intersect, spices used, methods learned and delightfully surprised by the markets that are thriving. lovely post!

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  14. As with the first post on Israel, you've brought us another delicious glimpse of the culture. I hope this series goes on for years so I can travel to this magnificent land through your words and photos.

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  15. Beautiful photos! Such lovely produce!

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  16. You always have such fun guest posts! So wonderful to be brought back to Israel through this piece.

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  17. I think I knew what happened exactly the first time I read this: after seeing the produce, I went outside to check on my garden. Of course, whatever I harvest this year will not measure up to the pictured shuck.

    [See, I just caught myself scrolling back up again to the Tunisian Sandwich.]

    Now I want that sandwich! Thanks for sharing, Shulie!

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  18. i used to navigate myself around a market like this one when i was a kid. I tagged along with my mom and mimicked everything she does with the fresh produce. your pictures lent me that feeling once again. thanks for the sharing!

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  19. What a great window to a beautiful city and culture. Love the series you pick Shulie, and love the way Yael writes. I would abandon my list in a heartbeat if I were in a place like this!

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