CouscousGefilte FishFalafel

  • Issue: July 2000
  • Designer: Ophir Meirav
  • Photography: Neill Sheffer
  • Stamps Size: 25.7 mm x 40 mm
  • Plates nos.: 412, 413, 414
  • Sheets of 15 stamps, Tabs: 5
  • Printers: Joh. Enschede, Netherlands
  • Method of printing: Offset

Dishes play a dominant role in our lives by virtue of the childhood memories they evoke and represent. Collective culinary memories as they meet and mix over the years, interweaving with other cultures, form the cuisine of a nation, a cuisine that represents a culture.

Israeli cuisine is today a great bubbling pot mixing ancient cultures with new, and dishes that originate from all over the world are served at the same table. More and more Israeli homes have a mixed cuisine that contains dishes from different cultures. This tendency may, amongst others, be the result of more inter-cultural openness, inter-marriages as well as the industrial ability and economic prosperity that enable the manufacture of a variety of dishes, which become easily accessible.


The dish originates from the Berber tribes. North African immigrants introduced couscous to Israel during the 1950's. It was a traditional Friday night dish. Preparation of the couscous grains made of semolina and water, entails great skill and effort. Coucous has many and varied versions. It usually comprises of a meat (or chicken) soup with vegetables and chick peas, which is poured over the steamed couscous grains.

Ingredients: semolina, water, meat or chicken, marrow bones, pumpkin, onion, turnip, cabbage, carrot, chick peas, hot red pepper, black pepper, salt, fat.

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Gefilte Fish (Stuffed Carp)

This dish received its name - Gefilte (stuffed) Fish - because of the tradition of stuffing fish slices. Bread was added to increase the size of the portions; Today the stuffing has become the dish. Its origins lie in Middle Age Germany. The carp was adopted by Jews in Poland and other countries. Gefilte Fish is served as an hors d'oevres at Sabbath and holiday meals. In the past the live fish would be bought during the second half of the week, and kept in the bath until time for cooking.

Ingredients: carp fish, dry challah (Sabbath bread), onion, garlic, carrot, eggs, sugar, black pepper, and salt.

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Falafel, a very old dish, originated from the Copt sect in ancient Egypt. Following the establishment of the State of Israel, it became a very popular dish by all of the country's varied populations. Falafel is sold at street stands, served in pita bread, tehina sauce, salad and pickles are added to the falafel balls. Falafel has become popular not only in Israel but the entire western world, being easily available, cheap, satisfying and eaten while standing.

Ingredients: chick peas, onion, garlic, parsley or coriander, red hot peppers, salt, cumin, black pepper, baking powder, bi-carbonate of soda.

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Israeli Food