Limonana is a kind of lemonade using fresh lemon juice with lots of blended mint leaves. It can be made like a juice, or blended in a blender as a smoothie or even as a sorbet and can be spiked with liqour to make a limonana cocktail. Limonana actually originated here in Israel in the 1990's when enterprising restaurateurs in Jerusalem invented it as a cool drink. and due to it's taste and uniqueness, caught on and became popular in other areas of the middle east and you can even find it at restaurants and bars here at Jerusalem.
Fondest memory: a glass of limonana will cost NIS 10 at restaurants
Although the National currency of Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), most of the inhabitants of the old city of Jerusalem are Jordanian and Palestinian Arab Muslims and Christians, the second most used currency in the old city for locals there is the Jordanian Dinar (JD) after the Shekel.
the Jordanian Dinar is the main Currency of Jordan and one of the Dual Currency of the Palestinian Parts of the West Bank and is even Used here in the Old City of Jerusalem. The current exhange rate of 1 Jordan Dinar (JD) is pegged at 1.40 US Dollar (US $). The dinar is divided into 10 dirham, 100 qirsh (also called piastres) or 1000 fils. The Banknotes are 1 dinar, 5 dinar, 10 dinar, 20 dinar and 50 dinar denominations and the coins are ½, 1 qirsh, 2½, 5, 10 piastres, ¼, ½, 1 dinar denominations.
Pita Bread made as a sandwich is really popular around Jerusalem and Israel and there are a variety of toppings used for it and the most common will be the grilled kebabs made with beef or lamb or chicken. Other topping incude falafel with veggies stuffed into a pita bread sandwich and meat balls in pita bread sandwich, fried chicken stuff in the pita bread and more. This sandwhich is different from the shawarma in that the toppings are varied while in shawarma, only grilled chicken, beef and lamb with a few veggie garnishings are put into the pita bread.
Fondest memory: you can buy them at fast food stands in Jerusalem and cost vary from the topping used, from NIS 10 to 20 per order.
Being a Diaspora for most part of the 2,000 years, Israeli Cuisine is an amalgam of different international influences as the various Jewish Immigrants from all around the world bought their cuisine and incorporated them into the Israeli Cuisine of Today. Israeli Cuisine has elements of the old Jewish Cuisine and It's Neighbor, Arabic, Mediterranean and European and some African and Russian elements, all of which are Kosher.
Fondest memory: among the favorite foods of Israeli Cuisine are the falafel, couscous, shawerma, mezze, hummus, bagels, baba ganoush, kubbeh, lentil soup, kebabs, shashliks and a lot more.
you can sample some of the cuisine at the buffet breakfasts and dinner at your local hotel as most christian pilgrims have buffet breakfast and dinner packages with the hotels or try them during lunch as lunches are not included in the package.
Favorite thing: Hey, this is the middle east, the bastion of smoking and even though smoking cigarettes and cigars are in decline in the western world, here in the middle east, including Israel, smoking is still high and there are numerous international cigarette brands like philip morris, british american tobacco, RJ Reynold's Co and local israeli brands that sells assorted cigarette packs like Marlboro, Winston, Camel, Luck Strike, West, Pall Mall, L & M and a lot more and they are available everywhere in shops, convenience stalls supermarkets and even in vending machines and the cost ranges from NIS 18 for the cheaper brands up to NIS 28 for the premium brands like Marlboro.
like in any other country, Israel has a variety of snack food (also known as junk foods) and all of them are kosher and you can buy assorted snack foods made by multinational companies like frito lay, Nabisco and more here in Jerusalem and also a variety of local company snacks, ranging from kosher potato chips, nachos, cheese sticks, assorted chocolates, tapioca puddings and more. they atre avaialble everywhere, in convenience stores, shops, stalls, supermarkets, souvenir shops and can range from NIS 6 to 25, depending on the type of snack food you will buy.
Fondest memory: assorted snack foods for munching while on the tour
Since Dairy Products are kosher, Ice Cream Products are very popular all around Israel due to the hot and arid desert weather in most of the country and you can buy the assorted ice creams like ice cream sticks, scooped ice cream, gelato, yogurts, yogurt ice cream, ice cream pudding and a lot more derivatives in practically many convenience stores or stalls or supermarkets around Jerusalem and is made by various companies like Nestle, Ben & Jerry's, Strauss and local brands such as Rio Netanya Ice Cream, Yotvata Ice Cream and more.
Fondest memory: you can buy assorted Ice Cream products all around the city with prices ranging from NIS 8 to 20, depending of the type and size of Ice Cream.
Favorite thing: Judaism is not a singular religion, there are many sects ranging from the Liberal Branches (Reform judaism, conservative judaism, etc) , the Othdodox and the Ultraorthodox (Hasidic and Haredi) and you can distinguish them via the way they dress in Israel. Liberal jews often wear regular clothes but always have the kippa on their heads while orthodox jews are often dressed formally in black and with the tall black hats but without the long sideburns for men and long skirts and black blouses with sleeves up to the wrists and the Orthodox Jews usually dressed similar to orthodox Jews but with beards and the long sideburns. Secular Jews on the other hand don't usually wear the Kippa on their heads.
if your travel motto is to bring small amount of cash and withdraw local money at local ATM's in the country you visited, then being in Israel and in Jerusalem will not be a problem as there are mny ATM machines around Jerusalem Area and also at major hotel lobbies and some big stores.
a caveat however: not all Israeli ATM Machines accept International ATM consortium cards like Cirrus or Discover or Plus, so before inserting your atm card, look for the international ATM logo of your ATM consortium if it is pasted in front of the ATM Machine. Many five- or six-digit PINs will work at Israeli ATMs that accept foreign ATM cards, but some longer PINs do not. also remember that you will be charged an NIS 3 fee for each ATM withdrawal of whatever amount by the local Israeli ATM Bank Consortium plus the finance charge of your local Bank that Issued your ATM which can range from US $ 3 to $ 5 per transaction.
If you are travelling in Israel and around the Middle East and is fond of Pork products like ham or bacon, then prepare to have an abstinence! as all around the Middle east, Pork is not eaten, except in christian areas as both Jewish and Islamic Laws forbid eating pork.
In Israel, most of the restaurants and hotels and food stalls and pubs (but not all) follow kosher (or kashrut) Jewish food laws. Kosher laws states that Jews are not allowed to eat foods that include the presence of ingredients derived from nonkosher animals or from kosher animals that were not slaughtered in the ritually proper manner, a mixture of meat and milk, wine, or grape juice (or their derivatives) produced without supervision, the use of produce from Israel that has not been tithed, or the use of non-kosher cooking utensils and machinery.
Fondest memory: examples of non kosher are pork, rabbit, camel, fishes without scales like catfish.
according to wikipedia:
These are the animals considered to be impure according to Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14:
Favorite thing: like in any place in the world, Pepsicola and Coca Cola Companies have the lion's share of the soda (softdrinks) market in Israel and Jerusalem and the ubiqitous Pepsi and coke advetisements can be seen eveywhere. but Israel also have native softdrink makers that also sells local sodas like tropit or super drink, but unfortunatley, I havent had the time to taste them. Softdrinks are available everywhere here like at stalls, restaurants, hotels, bars, pubs, supermarkets, convenience stores and are available in bottled variety and the aluminum can variety and costs differ, depending on where you bought them. will cost NIS 3 for a 355 ml aluminum can at convenience stores up to NIS 10 at bars and restaurants.
Favorite thing: being in another country, it is safe to drink bottled water for quenching thirst as you would not want to have travellers diarhhea to ruin your tours and here in Jerusalem, you can buy bottled water everywhere, in stores, stalls, supermarkets, convenience stores, restaurants, hotels and bars and they have diiferent kinds and companies that supply them and they are available in 500 ml, 1 liter, 1.5 liter, 2 liter and 1 gallon containers (but it is best to buy the 500 ml and 1 liter bottles while walking around as they are not heavy) and bottled water are either spring, mineral, distilled, alkalized, sparkling and costs from NIS 3 to 8, depending on the size of the container
this will be my tips on the various Fruit Based Drinks available in Israel, I will have a separate tip on the soft drinks and sodas.
Israel is a major producer of citrus fruits and even other tropical fruits which their biotechnology teams make them accultures to Israeli Soil and there are an abundance of assorted fruit juices around Israel and here in Jeruslem. you can have fresh fruit drinks like the oranges, pomengranate, apple, bread fruit and more being processed while you wait at the assorted stores or buy the bottled and aluminum can variety at the convenience stores and supermarkets and even at vending machines. The assorted fruit drinks sold are mostly locally grown and are pure and not diluted with water.
Fondest memory: the fruit drinks are available in aluminum cans and in PET Bottles and processed fresh from the street stall and varies in price depending on where you bought them.
although wine is more popular in Israel since the ancient times, beers are common and the two major Israeli Beer Brands that control the Market are Goldstar Beer and Macabee Beer, both produced by the Large Israeli Beer Company Tempo. Goldstar is slighlty more popular of the two beer brands and the beer that we've tried both the Goldstar Beer and Macabee Beer. It is available in most of the bars around Jerusalem and at convenience stores and dining areas.Other beers available in Israel include local microbreweries and imported brands porduced by local companies such as Carlsberg Beer, Amstel Beer, Guinnes Beer, etc.
beers are available in 355 ml bottle and 750 ml bottles and 330 ml aluminum cans and cost NIS 6 to 12 at convenience stores and restaurants and NIS 15 to 25 at Bars and Night Clubs.
Fondest memory: you can buy beers even in church restaurants as we had one at the restaurant inside the Dormition Abbey Church.
The New Israeli Shekel is the National Currency of Israel and is the major currency being used in Jerusalem (But the Jordanian Dinar is also widely accepted in the Old City and the Palestinian areas of East Jerusalem).
The Current exchange rate of 1 US Dollar is 3.54 New Israeli Shekel.
The New Israeli Shekel (NIS) is divided into of 100 agorot (cents) and is composes of 1, 2, 5, 10 shekel coins (agorot) and 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekel paper money. The Israeli new shekel has been in use since 1 January 1986 when it replaced the Old Israeli shekel that was in usage between 24 February 1980 and 31 December 1985.
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