So There I Was: Mama Druise’s Unleavened Bread Stand
In 2008, I traveled to Israel and visited Caesarea Phillipi, which is believed to be the site of the Transfiguration. This is me in front of the gates of hell. And that is the reason why the temperatures at Caesarea Phillipi resemble the surface of the sun.
Our tour guide Ruti was an interesting character. We were convinced that she was definitely scoring some kickback shekels from the many random vendors we visited between here and the Holy City. This particular day she had our driver take us to the middle of nowhere to eat lunch. We learned to accept these non-scheduled stops as super fun adventures. What wonderful treats will the side of the dusty road of Israel bring us today?
Nine times out of 10, it was either falafel and schnitzel. La’CHIEM!
We arrive at a roadside building that must be the hot spot for local sheep herders in the area since they appeared to be the only civilization within a 40-mile-radius. Welcome to Mama Druise Unleavened Bread Stand!
Disclaimer: I think you should know that I lovingly named this building “Mama Druise Unleavened Bread Stand” because there were no official restaurant markers or food establishment signs anywhere. For all I know, Ruti last name is Druise and this is her great aunt Sarah who needs a little extra change to purchase branded logo napkins for her growing business.
Mama Druise hustles out of her bread stand and ushers the tour bus passengers into her building. There is one line for the falafel or schnitzel and another to watch Mama Druise’s sweet sister make unleavened bread the way her ancestors used to do it in Jesus’ time. The instructions are simple:
- Remove shoes.
- Squat down on the floor near Hebrew Coke machine and place round seat cushion from outdoor patio furniture on bucket.
- Mold the bread into large circle, making sure to cover circumference of seat cushion.
- Remove and unleaven.
- Hand to Mama Druise.
- Smear a little goat cheese and a cup–or two–of extra virgin olive oil.
- Wrap and hand to customer.
- Note : The goat cheese and gallon of olive oil may be substituted for chocolate sauce.
I know what you are thinking. You assumed that I ate the chocolate delight of pure ecstasy. Well you are WRONG! Even though I tasted a friend’s chocolate version and was for one moment experiencing what it must be like to be in heaven, I opted for the more grown-up goat version. Dripping with oil.
Needless to say, I ate a half pound bag of Skittles when I returned to the bus.