Friday, March 1, 2013

Fridays in the Netanya Market

Netanya is a lovely and complex city. It is the first city that is really outside of the central metropolitan/suburban coastal plain that centers around Tel Aviv. Israel's major commercial and business city is Tel Aviv-Yaffo, and around it are tightly clustered cities like B'nei Brak, Ramat Gan, Holon, Bat Yam, Tsahalah, Ramat Hasharon, and Herzliya. This area is called Gush Dan, and in it the cost of living and property values are very high. Tel Aviv is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, but the cities and towns that surround it are not all that diverse.

I lived in Herzliya for two years and though I lived in a bit of a foreign student bubble, I found that much of the population in which I found myself was solidly Israeli.

In Israel, Netanya is known for several things:

  • French people
  • Russian people
  • Organized crime families
  • IKEA
I have come to love Netanya for its diversity and friendliness. Indeed, I very much feel that I live in a city of co-existing minorities. Due to lower property and living costs, the government funneled waves of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia outside of the Gush Dan area, and Netanya was, in my opinion, lucky to receive them. In recent years, Israel has experienced an influx of European (particularly French) Jews. Netanya is dominated by these groups. I will write more in the future about this diversity and post some pictures of this incredibly lush multicultural life.

This post is about one of my favorite places in Netanya - the market. Though many people do much of their shopping in conventional supermarkets, there is nothing to rival the excitement, color and thriftiness of the Shuk. 

I go to the market at least once a week, usually on Fridays. I have my favorite butcher, vegetable merchant, bakery, etc.

One of my usual stops is this little shop. It is owned by a Russian family and is not kosher. For my purposes, it is the perfect place to buy dairy products and other packaged goods.

The deli cases are filled with all sorts of marvelous pickles, smoked fish, and all things Russian!

Here we have pickled garlic, mini cucumbers, apples, red cabbage and mushrooms surrounding a little jar of caviar.

Israelis love nuts, and I have found that keeping some peanuts and pistachios around helps me to snack less. but more healthfully. I usually visit this stand in the very middle of the markets, belly up to the counter and order what I will.

The fish guy is charming, kind, and patient even in the face of many rushed and combative Israelis. I have seen him take orders in Hebrew, French, and Russian simultaneously. In addition to Norwegian salmon, fresh sea bream and sea bass, he doles out cooking advice and kind wishes for a Shabbat Shalom.

Most of the market consists of vegetable and fruit stands. There is one that is particularly good for mushrooms, another for herbs, another for strawberries, another for lemons etc. etc. etc.

It is a bright, loud, and occasionally frustrating, but very worthwhile.

More next time!

Outfit Inspiration

I am so inspired by these looks:

Lovely black, tan, and deep green.