(photo credit: Courtesy Photo)
The spectacular views from around the Kinneret lake make it a perfect setting for a culinary entertainment event. After the rousing success of last year's inaugural one, the second annual Kinneret Tastes Festival will be celebrated again during the three upcoming weekends, giving visitors the chance to explore cr me de la cr me foods of the region.
From colorful felafel balls to authentic humus; from Moroccan couscous to Tunisian sandwiches; and from heartwarming soups to sinful desserts, the Kinneret Tastes Festival is all about local, regional and quality produce. Visitors will be offered a variety of cooking demonstrations from well-known chefs, along with hands-on food workshops, and guided tours of the area.
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Here's a quick glance at some of the attractions and at what the regions' chefs are stirring up for the upcoming festival:
Are you familiar with sweet potato bread? How about date loaf? Maybe banana pastry? If you ever wondered how to make these, then the bread-baking workshops at Gesher Hayeshana may be the event for you. Foccacia, pizza, and other baking workshops suited for the whole family will be held during the festival, Thursday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. In addition, guided tours of Gesher Hayeshana, including audiovisual presentations, are also available. Call (04) 675-2685.
St. Peter's fish, better known here as musht, or amnun, is an easy-to-cook and inexpensive white fish. At the restaurants around Tiberias, this is the fish to order, as it comes fresh from the nearby lake. Grilled amnun is one of the staples at the Kibbutz Ein Gev fish restaurant. Open daily from noon to 9 p.m., the restaurant serves a selection of fish together with salads soups and desserts. Tel. (04) 665-8136
In a tropical garden with a large playground for kids, Tzel Tamar restaurant is located at the entrance to Kibbutz Ashdot Ya'akov Ichud. At this venue expect no less than a true gourmet meal for reasonable prices. The extensive wine list from only Israeli wineries is worth browsing, and will probably make your dining experience happier. Tzel Tamar, Tel: (04) 675-6688
Green, Orange, garlic, or regular. What's your favorite felafel ball? The felafel shop at Kibbutz Afikim proves that this humble Israeli staple has a place in a culinary event. Open Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until Shabbat.
Many of the late songwriter Naomi Shemer's works have entered the country's canon. An authentic tour following her childhood in Kibbutz Kinneret is offered for the festival guests on Friday Dec 1, Dec 8 and Dec 15, at noon (reservations only; call (04) 675-9123).
Rachel Lalush, an energetic woman from Tiberias, serves an enticing couscous accompanied with a heartwarming soup, chicken and potatoes. Seasonal salads, such as fennel, cauliflower, beet, and all-Moroccan matbuhe are not to be missed either. Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., (04) 672-0893
A complete program of the triple weekend culinary festival November 30 to December 16 is available at the information center at Zemach Junction: (04) 675-2727, or at www.ekinneret.co.il