ALready in the first days of my latest trip in Israel a fellow traveller pointed out how "Israelis eat all the time". And "when they're not eating, they're talking about food" (no wonder I love the place!). And she had some truth in that: people eat out a lot and restaurants always seem to be full of families and groups of friends.
And between the meals and on the go they snack. Mostly on dreadfully healthy stuff such as nuts and seeds but Israel is also home to two rather peculiar snacks: Bamba and Bissli.
Bamba is insanely popular and makes up at least 25% of the whole snacks market. It's a cheetos-like snack made from puffed up, peanut butter (!) flavourd maize. It is actually so popular at one point I heard claims it was the main source of protein for Israeli children. Its staggering comsumption has also been given as the explanation to rarity of nut allergies in Israel.
Bissli is my personal favourite and one of those things I just have to have when in the country. It is wheat-based and in essence deep-fried pasta. It comes in different shapes which tell, which flavour they are, the fusilli-shaped one (grill) being the bestseller. In addition to that there is pizza-flavoured Bissli, taco-seasoned Bissli and (it is Israel, after all..) falafel-flavoured Bissli.
Satisfying your snack craving doesn't get much easier than this - this treat really only requires one ingredient: parboiled pasta. You can adjust the seasoning as you please - for the easiest way out just use ready-made taco or BBQ-seasoning.
For pasta you can also use both gluten-free or wholemeal pasta.
Bissli - Israeli snack made of deep-fried pasta:
250 g fusilli (or other pasta of your choice)
1,5 tbsp onion powder
1,5 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp chillipowder
1,5 tsp pimentón (or regular paprika, though pimentón adds nice smokiness)
1,5 tsp ground coriander
1,5 tsp salt
1,5 tsp ground black pepper
For frying: 1/2 l oil
Cook the pasta for a little more than half of the cooking time given on the package. Drain and spread out onto a tea towel. Leave to dry for 10 minutes.
Combine the spices for the seasoning, check the taste and adjust if desired.
Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and deep-fry pasta in batches until golden brown. Quickly drain on kitchen towel and toss in the seasoning. Serve or store in an air-tight container.
ANYONE FOR SECONDS?