Israeli Cucumbers Are Still Cool

This staple of Israeli salads is cheaper, and consensus has it tastier as well, than those in the U.S.

Judy Maltz
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Judy Maltz

Among the first things to strike visitors to Israel these days – both those who’ve never been and those who haven’t been in a while – is how expensive things are.

Whether it’s a restaurant meal, a tank of gas, or a tiny walk-up apartment, they simply can’t figure out why it’s so pricey or how their Israeli friends and cousins afford it.

1. Cucumbers

Granted, the price of this mainstay ingredient in the classic Israeli salad has been known to fluctuate wildly. Looking back at the past two years, the price of a kilogram of cucumbers has spanned the spectrum of NIS 4 to NIS 8. In American terms, that would be roughly the equivalent of  $0.50 to $1.00 a pound. (At discount supermarket chains like Rami Levy, you can find them for even less than NIS 2 per kilo). In the same two-year span, the price of cucumbers in the United States has fluctuated from about $1.50 to upwards of $3 a pound (obviously depending on the season and location). The overwhelming consensus is that in Israel, they taste better too.

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Cucumbers at Tel Aviv marketCredit: David Bachar