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Winter treats

by michael January 25 2008
Things to doFoodWeather

In case you haven't noticed, it's cold in Jerusalem. And while Jerusalem residents won't acknowledge the annual three-month spell of cold weather by using insulation in buildings or installing heating units as a standard amenity (to do so would be to admit defeat, or something), they do trot out plenty of winter-appropriate comfort food to beat the chill. So if you're trapped outside for any length of time, here's your Jerusalemite-approved guide to getting your blood flowing again...

1) Get the sahlab at Mifgash Ha-Sheikh. Sahlab, a Middle Eastern delicacy made out of a powdered, and obscure, Egyptian root, is a sort of hot pudding, although its flavor and consistency are totally unique. Mifgash Ha-Sheikh is famous for sahlab, and you'll get a generous cupful garnished with nuts, coconut flakes and abundant cinnamon.

2) If sahlab is a little too adventurous for your palate, head a few meters down the street from the Shammai branch of Mifgash Ha-Sheikh to Babette's Feast, a hole-in-the-wall Belgian waffle joint that's often crammed full enough to have a line. The waffles are luxurious, but those looking to fortify themselves against frosty weather should get the hot chocolate. This ain't your average Swiss Miss - Babette's hot chocolate is the real chocolately syrupy rib-sticking deal.

3) Nothing beats a cold and rainy day like soup - head down to Ha-Marakiyah, Jerusalem's funkiest all-soup indie restaurant. If you can get a table, the sweet potato soup (marak batata) should banish any hint of the frigid temperatures outside.

And remember, spring isn't too far off...
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