Book launched in Taiwan to promote Israeli food, culture

Taipei--A Chinese-language version of "Jerusalem" has recently been brought out in Taiwan, making it the first cookbook on Israeli dishes to be published locally, promoting the culture of Israel through its diverse food and the history behind the dishes.

The book, written by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, includes a collection of 120 recipes that explore the rich flavors of Jerusalem, reflecting their unique cross-cultural perspective. The two chefs were both born in Jerusalem, Tamimi on the Arab east side and Ottolenghi in the Jewish west.

Emily Ching-Chun Chuang (???), editor-in-chief of Emily Publishing Co., said at the book launch on Wednesday that she was impressed by Israeli cuisine when she visited the country in 2013 and missed the food.

"Israel has delicious food, such as hummus and pita bread," she said. "But these are not well known to many Taiwanese people," she said.

The Chinese version of the cookbook is intended to introduce the food and culture of Israel to the Taiwanese people, she said.

Asher Yarden, Israel's representative to Taiwan, also attended the event to support the book and play chef, making two common Israeli dishes: shakshuka and tabbouleh.

Shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers and onions, while tabbouleh is a salad made of mainly herbs, mint and tomatoes, along with lemon juice and olive oil. They are both easy to make at home, said Tamar Yarden, the wife of the Israeli representative.

Speaking at the book launch, Asher Yarden said he hopes it will help promote Israeli culture in Taiwan.

He said that bilateral ties are good but there is a need to improve mutual understanding.

As part of efforts to promote cultural exchanges, he said his office -- the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei -- is trying to invite the chefs behind the book "Jerusalem" to attend the Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2018, in which Israel will participate as the theme country, he said.

The Israeli office said the book fair will also display a selection of books from Israel in 2018, when the country celebrates its 70th anniversary.

Yarden said his office will also take this as an opportunity to promote tourism in Israel, in the hope of attracting more Taiwanese tourists to his country.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel