(photo credit: Rina Negila)
A number of Golan Heights food and alcohol producers showcased their products last week in Tel Aviv at the G mall commercial complex. Attendees were free to sample and purchase the goods.
The event was sponsored by Golan Heights Winery and the Wine Route chain (called Dereh Ha-yayin in Hebrew). Golan Heights Winery had some 15 types of wine to sample, ranging from NIS 50 to NIS 150. Golan Heights Winery is one of the largest winemakers in Israel and is owned by six moshavim and kibbutzim who also supply its grapes.
The Bazelet beer company had a booth at the fair as well. Bazelet which is owned by Golan Heights Winery had four beer types to sample: A Pils pale lager Czech style beer, a wheat Bavarian style beer an Amber beer and a double Bock style beer. All were delicious and refreshing on the hot summer Tel Aviv night.
There are large apple orchards on the Golan Heights so it makes sense that alcoholic apple cider is now produced there as well. The Side Effect company had two types of cider for sampling. The sweeter half dry type has an alcohol content of 4 percent and was sweeter than the dry type that has an alcohol content of 6%. But both were very good.
Side Effect cider is produced on Kibbutz El Rom in the Golan. Uzi Livne who was serving the cider at the event said that it was made from 13 types of apples that the Kibbutz grows. El Rom is located in the northern Golan Heights and its orchards benefit from a cooler winter climate due to its elevation at over 1000 meters above sea level.
Livne said that this year that the apple harvest at the kibbutz was not as abundant in the past years. He said that fluctuations in yield is something that happens periodically. He also said the kibbutz was getting ready for the beginning of the cherry harvest that begins after the cherries have been picked already in more southern parts of the country. There is still no cherry alcohol on offer from the kibbutz.
A booth from Kibbutz Geshur offered six different types of olive oil. The oils are made from at least six types of olive varieties from Greece, Spain, Italy, France, as well as local varieties. Each type of oil has different qualities ranging from sweet to spicy to more bitter tasting.
Cheese and chocolate from the Golan were also available. Naomi Dairy of Moshav Natur in the southern Golan offered its creamy goat cheeses that were splendid.
The De Karina artisan gourmet chocolate house from Kibbutz Ein Zivan had dark chocolate and chocolate liquor for tasting. Karina Cheplinski, De Karina’s chocolatier, is a third generation chocolate maker. Her grandfather fled from Europe to Argentina one hundred years ago where he opened a small home chocolate factory. Karina has kept her grandfather’s guarded secret recipe and is continuing his legacy on the Golan Heights.