Barking up the chocolate tree of love, with a Middle Eastern twist
Vered Guttman, sensible Jewish girl that she is, has come up with a list of Do's and Don'ts for Valentine's Day. If you think this is delicious, just wait to see what she has in store for Tu B'Av.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, the countless food magazines, blogs and papers are filled with suggestions of what to eat with your special someone: seductive menus and sensuous, sexy, rich chocolate desserts.
As for me - a sensible Jewish girl - I always thought it was more about what not to eat on Valentine’s Day, rather than what to eat. If you want to have a real romantic evening, that is.
So here’s my list:
Do not eat anything with herbs, especially tabbuleh and the like - no matter how careful you are, a tiny green leaf will always get stuck between your teeth.
No to poppy seeds, for the same reason. Or sesame seeds.
No to heavy meaty dishes. You don’t want to fall asleep right after dinner.
No to any gooey cheesy dishes, that will embarrass you when making you pull a never-ending string of cheese that will then stick (unnoticeable to you) on your chin. True story.
No to raw onions, or garlic.
No to any legume, including (but not limited to) cannellini beans, fava beans, chickpeas.
Come to think of it, that really does leave us just with chocolate.
Being that sensible Jewish girl that I am, I knew I had to use them - after all, we never throw away food - and so I decided to use the dried fruit and nuts to make a Middle Eastern chocolate bark that I could then divide between all my Valentines.
I promise we will discuss real seductive food options on the real Jewish love day - Tu B’Av (which, for those of you who don’t follow the Hebrew calendar closely, comes out some time in the summer.)
For more recipes, check out Food and Wine on Haaretz.com
Vered Guttman is a caterer and a food writer based in Washington DC. Growing up in Israel she took her first lessons in Jewish cooking sitting at the tables of her two grandmothers, one from Poland, the other from Iraq. In Modern Manna, Vered will share a mix of new Israeli trends and old Jewish traditions, sprinkled with a distinct Sephardic flavor. Follow Vered on Twitter @veredguttman