i d e n t i t i e s | yael raviv Falafel: A National Icon Falafel in pita bread, dripping with tahini sauce, vegetables, and picklesâhere is a messy, economically overï¬owing image of the Israeli nation. had become a popular snack with the younger generation, and by the 1950s it was common throughout Israeli society. Ultimately, falafel became one of the icons of Israeli culture. In her study of the bagel in the United States, Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett has outlined a series of stages the bagel passed through on its way to becoming the popular American food it is today.4 The same stages are useful to illuminate the transformation of falafelâs status in Israeli society. In the ï¬rst stage, which Kirshenblatt-Gimblett terms âself-evident,â the product is taken for granted. The position of falafel in the everyday Arab diet was certainly âself-evident.â The second stage, termed âself-conscious,â is an accurate description of how early Jewish immigrants adopted certain local Arab cultural practices in a deliberate attempt to relinquish Diaspora habits in favor of a new existence in Palestine. The halutzim of the Second and Third Aliya (Jewish immigration to Israel) chose to adopt certain Arab models that they
Gastronomica – University of California Press
Published: Aug 1, 2003
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