Kosher Syrian meze comes to Jerusalem
Last week, my oven broke, and I wasn’t sure it would be fixed by Shabbat. As I scrolled through Facebook, I came across a new food delivery service called Mezzeria, offering Syrian mezes, traditional small appetizers like kubbeh, pastelim and lahm b’ajin. It turned out this was their first week in business.
I ordered a large platter of mixed meze (NIS 185) and added two salads, baba ghanoush, and a spicy bulgur wheat salad called bazerghan, for a total of NIS 225, which included free delivery. I paid by credit card, and received an email confirmation.
On Friday I went for a hike in Sataf, returning around 1 p.m. There was no delivery, and no message, leaving me wondering whether I had been scammed. But just as I began to get worried, the doorbell rang, and co-owner Grace Mizrachi delivered a beautifully wrapped platter of appetizers with a container of homemade tehina in the middle.
Mizrachi, 25, worked as a line cook at the hot spot Crave when it first opened three years ago. She returned to the US, and had her own catering company there. She returned to Israel two months ago, just in time for the coronavirus pandemic.
She has joined forces with two Israeli-born partners, Lulu Fayazi and Michal Tawil, two sisters who had already been catering events for the Syrian Halabi community from Aleppo, both Israelis and visiting tourists from the US.
“We saw that there aren’t that many people doing this kind of food here,” Mizrachi said. “We wanted something authentic and closer to what we grew up with. We want to introduce this food to the Israeli market.”
Each of the items on the platter I received was excellent. Each can be ordered separately as well. They are finger-food appetizers and beautiful looking as well as tasting.
My kids went crazy for the lahm b’ajin (NIS 40 for 6 pieces), small dough rounds topped with meat, but they also enjoyed the kubbeh (NIS 38 for 6 pieces), the pulled beef empanadas (NIS 38 for 6 pieces), and the cereal-coated chicken nuggets (NIS 40 for a large portion).
These appetizers are time-consuming to prepare, and I thought prices were reasonable. The appetizer platter will feed four to six relatively hungry people.
Mizrachi says this type of food is usually served at Shabbat lunch, although lately, in New York, she says, meze has become more popular and is eaten at almost any time. All three partners have Syrian roots and grew up eating Syrian food.
Now we all have a chance to try it.
Kashrut: Rabbi Sammy Kassin
Delivery: Fridays only in Jerusalem and Gush Etzion, free with NIS 200 order, or NIS 30 delivery fee