A festival of flavors in the valleys combines a family trip, a scent of nature and a culinary celebration

At a good time, when another closure has passed, and although there is still uncertainty in the background, a hint of optimism can be found in the open spaces and in the tourism initiatives that adapt themselves to the new world. In February, the month of the anemone blooms, it is worth visiting the Jezreel Valley and its annexes – not far north – which includes hiking trails, amazing vegetation and fine cuisine.

From February to mid-March, the traditional “Flavors in the Valleys” festival will be held in the Jezreel Valley. The winter festival, which takes place over the weekends, will combine nature trips, the sale of local agricultural produce and a culinary fair moving between the localities in the valleys. Anyone familiar with the festival, which is celebrating its 17th year, probably knows that its highlight was a visit to the regional restaurants in a sort of equal meal deal, but now that they are committed to their purple daughter, instead of going to restaurants, food and events will reach nature and communities.

This year the festival collaborates with the JNF, which celebrates 120 years of activity and land acquisition. As part of the collaboration, the festival will include trips along the Tzipori and Bethlehem streams and activities for the whole family on farms, forests and wineries, accompanied by food cooked by local chefs and cooks.

The focus of the festival will of course be the fair, moving between localities from Wednesday to Friday (until 14.3) and will include a variety of food tracks that will come with food from local and confectionery restaurants, combining wine from local wineries, farmers market with fresh produce and live music to complete the atmosphere. On the route of the fair you can be updated on the festival website, and in order to meet the limitations of the purple mark, each traveler will have to register and schedule their arrival. Pre-orders will offer three-course meals at a maximum price of NIS 120. The fair itself will also have special dishes at a maximum price of NIS 30 for a first course or dessert and up to NIS 50 for a main course. Of course, in the spirit of the period, travelers will also be offered picnic baskets by prior arrangement.

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Thanks to the concentration of all the restaurants in one fair, visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of flavors and aromas that will surely make them want to return to the valley and visit their favorite at the next opportunity. This is how they actually support business owners during the Corona period, and also mark desirable stopping points for future trips in the area.

Bosa Confectionery – Yokneam HaMoshava

In Yokneam HaMoshava there is a paradise for carbohydrate lovers – “Bosa” catering. The catering, which in its days as a repair operates as a catering service, opens its gates every Friday to the residents of the area and travelers who want to stock up on some good things for the trip. Since the Corona period forced them to be creative, they also offer picnic packages and pre-arranged hospitality trays throughout the week. The boxes, which can be built according to your personal taste, you can take on the road and eat in the open nature. Apart from fresh pastries, you can also find a variety of delicacies, cheeses from local producers, dips, olive oil and more. Among other things, you will find quiches, borax, breads, yeast pastries, cookies and other sweet surprises.

Agra Street, Yokneam HaMoshava. Phone: 050-4422903.

Bosa Confectionery (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Carmelim – Moshav Hayogev

Anyone who has visited the supermarket in recent years is probably familiar with the produce of the Carmelim Farm, which comes fresh and meticulously packaged. The veteran farm of the Carmeli family has been operating for five decades and employs three generations of farmers. The farm, located in Moshav Hayogev in the Jezreel Valley, is the place to visit if you are a green lover. The old farm operates by hydroponic method, a growing method without the need for contact with the soil. In their greenhouses, lettuce, herbs, sprouts, asparagus and even sweet corn are grown in a hygienic and efficient way. You can find their fresh produce at the fair or at their farm shop in Moshav.

Carmelim (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Carmelim (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Olive oil “Mountain and Valley”

Beyond the fact that the Jezreel Valley is a perfect area for hiking, it is also a place that specializes in tourism and agricultural ventures. At the fair you will discover one of the most successful of them, the “Mountain and Valley” corporation, which produces quality olive oil. The corporation, which centers eight farms, was established on the understanding that size is power. The eight decided to combine all the treatment in the stages of processing, production, and marketing of the oil.

The first olive trees were planted as early as 2010, and they currently produce about 500 tons of cold-pressed olive oil of excellent cult quality. The olives grown in the valley are processed in the factory they set up, and the result is excellent olive oil, which is affected by the climate and growing conditions. At the fair you can buy olive oil at prices without brokerage gaps, so this is a great opportunity to fill the pantry.

Flow in the Jezreel Valley (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Flow in the Jezreel Valley (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Arab cuisine with Lior Ribner

The corona forfeited the cards to a great many people, who had to recalculate a route. The long periods of closure and the complete closure of the catering industry have caused some chefs to reinvent themselves. This is the case of Chef Lior Ribner, who specializes in Arab Galilean food. After many years in the catering business he was forced to look for new livelihoods, which led him to open a local food stall, where he offers a variety of authentic pastries and dishes that can be taken home or eaten in the field. At the fair, he will offer travelers hot cakes, stuffed vine leaves and other delicacies.

Lior Ribner – 052-5956002.

Lior - Galilean food (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Lior – Galilean food (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Yankee – Home to burgers

Near the “Cafe Cafe” branch in Kibbutz Yifat, “Yank” – a regular food truck that specializes in burgers – is opening these days. The place was opened by Itamar Sharabi, the owner of the cafe branch and a hamburger enthusiast. The chosen name, “Yank”, is his son’s nickname, and in the new location he plans to offer spoiled burgers quality meat to travelers and locals. Beyond the meat it offers a variety of toppings on top (veal bacon, fried onions, corned beef, mushrooms, egg yolk, garlic confit, cheddar) and dishes like French fries, bonfire potatoes, Caesar salad and onion rings alongside the hamburger.

For details and reservations: 054-4747650.

Yank (Photo: Meital Sharabi)Yank (Photo: Meital Sharabi)

Beer Yosefon – Ramat Yishai

Throughout the valley there are a variety of places to stop for a picnic. If you are interested in a short outing for a coffee break or an invested picnic, you can stop at Beer Yosefon, which is located on the outskirts of Ramat Yishai. Living water flows from the well in a stream that flows into the Bethlehem River. The well is located on a path around Ramat Yishai, a path that is under development and where you can already see cyclists and gymnasts who take advantage of the pleasant weather for sports activities. Beer Yossifon is also known by its Arabic name Bir al-Bustan, and it is filled with groundwater. You can sit around or get out for a short walk along the trail. The easiest way to get to the well is from a field road that is about 60 meters from the entrance to Kidmat Yishai (Route 75 East).

Source: Maariv.co.il – תיירות by www.maariv.co.il.

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