Lemon Flavored Food in Israel 1/1/10

We solved a long standing mystery today. Since our arrival, all of the food we cooked had a distinct lemony flavor. Among the theories we had to explain this was that the olive oil contained lemon (no), and that some or all of our pans were impregnated with lemon or lemon oil. There was much smelling of the pots and pans with no conclusions. There was much scrubbing with soap of all our plates and pots and pans, but the lemon flavor persisted. We began to dislike the flavor of lemon. Terri proclaimed that the lady of the house (from whom we rent) must put lemon in everything.

Tonight our third Shabbat in Israel began and we sat down for a delicious dinner–just Terri and me as Ephy is back in Arad and Shoshana has not yet arrived. Terri made our now customary Shabbat dinner–“schnitzel” chicken (which is basically a chicken breast pounded flat), rice, peas and a sauce of tomatoes, olive oil, onions, mushrooms and other yummy veggies. I made a fresh green salad and we had a nice challah as well. I didn’t notice much of a lemon flavor, but Terri said that her peas tasted strongly of lemon.

Terri had arranged the spice containers we had available on the table. There was black pepper, crushed red pepper and salt. All but the salt were labeled clearly in English, but the salt had only a Hebrew label. I said to Terri, “Have you been using the this salt for cooking our food?” “Of course,” she replied. I pointed out to her the the Hebrew label on the bottle said “melah limon” which means “lemon salt.”

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