La cuisine italienne en Israel: Un desir d'Europe au Moyen-Orient

Translated title of the contribution: Italian food in Israel: Longing for Europe in the Middle East

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Italian food is extremely popular in Israel, second only to the so called Mizrahi (oriental) cuisine. In this paper I explore the meanings attributed by Israeli.Jews to Italian food. I begin by outlining the unique process by which Italian food arrived in Israel. I then argue that Italian food in Israel features a few singular characteristics that make it so popular: the portions are very large, the food is dairy.based and the restaurants are family.friendly. The most intriguing findings, however, concern repeated assertions by cooks and diners that the popularity of this food stems from ecological and sociological affinities between Israel and Italy. I suggest that the preference for Italian food allows Israeli.Jews to imagine themselves as belonging to Europefs Mediterranean region, thus transcending the Middle East and the complex relations with their Arab/Palestinian neighbors.

Translated title of the contributionItalian food in Israel: Longing for Europe in the Middle East
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalEthnologie Francaise
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Cuisine
  • Imagination
  • Israel
  • Italian Food
  • National Identity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology


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