How To Eat Pizza Like an Israeli

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eating pizza like an israeli

A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Jamie Geller.  As the resident adviser to new (and not so new) olim, I get all kinds of questions about cooking and baking in Israel.  But this one made me realize, the questions are about eating in Israel, too!

Jamie wanted to know if I had a recipe for the delicious dipping sauce that frequently accompanies pizzas here in Israel, and while I was at it, if I knew how to make the tavlinim – spices – that come with every delivery.  It occurred to me that the way we eat pizza has changed since we made Aliyah. It used to be plain pizza, with a side of French fries.  Here, French fries are rarely available in pizza shops, and it is the condiments that make the meal.  Spices are sprinkled on top (green or the more spicy red combination), and sauce is drizzled over the top or on the side for dunking your slice.  But while I have a sufficient number of spice packets to cover a football field of pizzas, I would prefer to make my own spice mixes, leaving off the ubiquitous MSG and controlling the amount of salt, for a healthier result.  The same is true for dipping sauce – I can use lower fat and sugar ingredients, and minimize the sodium.

So, Jamie, after some fun experimenting (my kids say thanks!), here are recipes for sauce and spices, so you can DIY them too, and our friends outside of Israel can enjoy our way of eating the Italian specialty.

Here are my recipes for Tavlinim Spices and Rotev, Pizza Sauce.

By the way, the pizza pictured here is from Chashmonaim’s own Pizza Mia, where you can get some of the best New York style pizza in the country, as well as delicious dairy catering.

Editor's note:

Thanks to the original questioner,  Miriam Cohen who sent us this email:

I wanted to know if you could help me out.  I lived in E"Y for 4 yrs.  and on the occasions that we went out to pizza they have that  yummy rotev that is spicy and that you eat with the pizza.  At one point my husband asked the guy he knew in Jerusalem pizza in geula how he made it and he told him but I can't seem to remember where I wrote it down from ages ago.  Would it be possible you could help me out and post a recipe for the israeli pizza rotev (the one from Jerusalem pizza in geula was the best!).

We hope this helps Miriam and the rest of us recreate memories of pizza past.