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TOPICS: Susanna Foo; Shopping Israeli style

by Jacqueline M. Newman

Newman's News and Notes

Spring Volume: 1997 Issue: 4(1) page(s): 16

SUSANNA FOO GARNERS ANOTHER HONOR: This past November, The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences awarded Foo's restuarant its coveted and prestigious Five Star Diamond Award. Philadelphians can visit this wonderful restaurant whenever they wish. Out-of-towners need to make a special trip to Susanna Foo Chinese Cuisine, 1512 Walnut Street, Philadelphia; phone (215) 545-2666.

CHINESE SHOPPING ISRAELI STYLE: On a recent visit to Israel I was invited to tour the Carmel market in Tel Aviv and Chinese markets that are part of its neighborhood. Just half dozen years earlier I could find not a Chinese store anywhere in Israel. Now, there were three, all within blocks. I had wondered how people garnered ingredients for the many Chinese restaurants I saw or sampled. Now I know that one can buy oyster mushrooms and mung bean sprouts in the market.

One can also purchase many Asian ingredients in Mr. Wong's Chinese Grocery to cook anything found in Ruth Sirkis' Chinese Cookbook found on his shelf. One can even buy fortune cookies with the fortune in Hebrew, of course. A message in the box invites you to 'have your own saying put in for wedding, birthday, and bar/bat mitzvah parties.' These fortune cookies come five to a tiny box and cost 2.2 shekels (about 70 cents). If my translater was accurate, they said things like: The romantic feelings are very strong and you are expecting things in this stormy romantic time; you will join a new club or group activity; An outing will bring very interesting people; If youy suspect somebody, don't give him a job; and, Don't waste your time worrying about things you can not change.

These can be bought at the FAR EASTERN MARKET; 38 YISHKON STREET; TEL AVIV, ISRAEL or at the CHINESE GRACERY; 48 HACUVSHIM STREET; TEL AVIV, ISRAEL Both sell dry goods, cooking equipment, and some fresh foods from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. In Wong's place I found a lovely lady named Dina Hannah looking at cookbooks, all seven of them, to decide if she should spend the equivalent of fifty US dollars to cook foods of a cuisine she loved but her husband would not try. In the end, she bought pine nuts, sugared ginger, dried garlic, black mushrooms, and a Chinese sausage and left without a book, "too expensive" she muttered as she left the apartment-kitchen size store. I stopped her on her way out and asked if she had any soy sauce at home. "No," she growled, "who uses that?"

Far Eastern Market is three times the size of The Chinese grocery, it needs to be because it also stocks foods of many African nations. The chap at the register looked puzzled when I asked "why this mix?" "The foods of all these countries are all alike: he advised and went on to tell me that "most of my customers own restaurants, and others are Israeli's who travel a lot and want to eat foods experienced when abroad."

When I went to Jerusalem and asked about Chinese food markets there, several folk told me Israel had none, but two said to go to Tel Aviv where I could buy anything I wanted. Are there others elsewhere in Israel, I could not find them; can you?

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