Sabich: Israeli fast food

Sabich, an Israeli fast food with origins among Iraqi immigrants to Israel, is the most insanely delicious street food you probably haven’t discovered yet. A great introduction to the emergence of sabich as a popular fast food item in Israel, several years old now, can be found on Yael Zisling’s Gems in Israel site. According to Zisling, there was originally no name for this fast food among Iraqi Jews in Israel. It was simply the typical food eaten on Shabbat morning.

Residents of Tel Aviv are quite passionate about their sabich. I enlisted Israeli journalist and travel writer Yuval Ben-Ami for navigational assistance. A friend of Yuval’s had recently talked up the stand at 2 Tchernichovsky Street sufficiently to prompt him to switch his allegiance. The Tchernichovsky Street sabich takeout joint, called rather literally Sabich, was packed at lunchtime. Common to a number of other sabich stalls, its owner has a sense of humor. Yuval translated a sign on the wall clarifying that orders of sabich without eggplant would not be entertained.

Firmly in the high-quality budget eats camp at around 15 shekels (about $4.35) apiece, a sabich lunch is a real meal. The main ingredient is fried eggplant. There are variations, of course, but other components include tahini, hummus, crumbled hard-boiled egg, salad, pickled mango, hot sauce, and pickled cucumbers.

Sabich is vegetarian. With the subtraction of the egg, it becomes fully vegan. Some enjoy sabich without the egg, while others love the egg for how it transforms in combination with the other flavors and gives the meal a real solidity.

It is easy to imagine sabich joining falafel and the burrito as a globally popular fast food. It’s just as easy to imagine the lack of quality and ingredient control that would come with a mass adoption. For now at least, this fast food sandwich, quite difficult to find outside of Israel, has not yet achieved globalized status. This is a situation ripe for entrepreneurial action.

Photo of the day – Flamenco in motion

When you see flamenco, you probably think Spain, but today’s beautiful photo was taken by the prolific Flavio@Flickr near Tel Aviv, Israel. It’s a beautiful image of movement, color, and light; you even get a sense of music. The sensuality and drama of the dance is refreshing to see compared with many of the serious and spiritual shots we often see from Israel travelers.

Captured any great performances recently? Share them with us by adding them to the Gadling group on Flickr and we might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the day (12.31.10)

It’s New Year’s Eve, a time to make (and eventually break) resolutions for the incoming year. Time to start exercising, cut down on junk food and alcohol, keep a journal longer than 2 weeks this time, etc. Even us at Gadling have some travel resolutions to keep. These girls on the sands of Tel Aviv, Israel are fitting in some yoga with their day at the beach and it looks like their friend on the left has made a resolution to get in shape as well, or maybe just get a girlfriend. Thanks to Flavio@Flickr for this resolution inspiration and Happy 2011!

See any resolutions in action on your vacation? Submit your photos to the Gadling Flickr pool and we might just choose one as a future Photo of the Day.

Photo of the Day (11.28.10)

Beach volleyball might seem like a laid-back sport – it’s played on the beach, right? But as Flickr user Flavio@Flickr demonstrates in today’s beach photo from Israel, those casual volleyball matches can get downright heated. The whirls of sand beneath the players’ feet, their frozen-in-air poses and the low upward-looking angle of this photo all lend a vibrant sense of motion and activity to this dramatic scene. I wonder who’s winning?

Have any great travel photos you’d like to share with the world? Why not add them to our Gadling group on Flickr? We might just pick one of yours as our Photo of the Day.

Photo of the day (7.29.10)

Some of the best travel photos tell a story or capture a stranger in a private moment. This candid portrait of a woman in Tel Aviv, Israel reading in a window by Flavio@Flickr does both beautifully. What is she so absorbed in reading? It could be an alarming news story or a love poem, or she could just be catching up on the latest Lindsay Lohan antics. At any rate, her image tells an interesting story and invites the viewer to contemplate what could be going on inside the window.

Do your photos have a great story to tell? Upload them to Gadling’s Flickr group and we might use one for a future Photo of the Day.