Ofaimme Farm | From Tunisia to Palermo

Rafram HadadChen Koren

An encounter, a conversation, and a meal with Jewish roots

In one evening at the Ofaimme Farm Café, we will serve and talk about Tunisian cuisine, as well as what Mediterranean and Jewish identity have in common. This will be a meal with Jewish roots, with the roots of immigration between Tunisia and Marseille, between Palermo and Livorno and back to Tunisia. This is a collaboration between Chen Koren, Jerusalem food lady, who hosts workshops and meals in Mahane Yehuda market, and Rafram Hadad, a Tunisian-born plastic artist and culinary researcher who lived on the sea of ​​Le Gaut.

We will begin the meal with a Tunisian-style salad that harks back to the Palermo-style and Nicoise salads, green beans soaked in hot water, a soft-boiled egg, anchovies, potatoes, tomatoes, sardines, pickled lemon and harissa. The second course will be durum pasta from southern Italy with celery leaves, Tunisian-style bottarga, and pistachios. Bottarga, a dish that is also eaten in Sardinia and Tuscany, encompasses the Mediterranean basin.

The entrée will do great honor to the fish couscous that found a home with the Sicilians of Trapani and the Jews of southern Tunisia. This is couscous made of barley semolina and served with fish soup together with pumpkin, turnip, and winter vegetables. Next to the couscous is a small serving of fish with harissa, dry roses and honey, marmuma (a pepper and tomato salad), chershi, squash salad, and pickled vegetables. Dessert will be an unusual variety of ice cream from the tradition of the Tunisian Jews and of Sicily, made of ricotta and lime and topped with grated bottarga.

After the meal, we will sip black coffee with cardamom seeds and dried apple peel, and sit down for a postprandial talk about Jewish fish dishes around the Mediterranean Sea. The talk will feature first-hand accounts of rare fish off the Tunisian coast, the importance of fish in Tunisian culture, and wonderful tales from the best expert on Tunisian cuisine.

This activity will be held in Hebrew

Photoes credit: Avishag Shaar-Yeshuv

About the Location

The Ofaimme Farm, which specializes in sustainable agriculture, was established on Moshav Idan in Israel’s Arava region by Yinon and Hedai Ofaimme. Yinon, a farmer, lives on Moshav Idan, and Hedai, who writes the food column in Haaretz’s weekend supplement, lives on Moshav Tzafririm. Yinon and Hedai set out to create a different sort of agriculture, one that allows farmers to be in direct contact with consumers, protects the environment, and fosters fair trade. On their farm, they use traditional methods to produce varieties of goat cheese, olives and olive oil, honey, jams, and various kinds of spreads from the organic fruits and vegetables that they grow. Their farm also runs three shops, two of which are located in Jerusalem — one in Ein Karem and the other in the building that housed the doctor’s personal residence in Hansen House. Near each shop is a café that has become a destination for culinary experts and foodies.

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