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Israel Leading the Way in Gluten Free Food

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

With summer just around the corner everyone is on the lookout for light, healthy eating options. The growing popularity of Mediterranean cuisine worldwide is testament not only to the health benefits but also to the taste.   Including a variety of new spices and ingredients in your kitchen can transform your cooking from bland to brilliant.

One Mediterranean classic that is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, is shakshouka. Derived from the Hebrew word to shake, the eggs are poached in a rich sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, red capsicum and spiced with cumin. There aren’t many better ways to start the day. In Israel, you can even buy the shakshouka mix in a can and just add the eggs making it a foolproof dish. Shakshouka, originally from North Africa, has become a mainstay of the Israeli diet.

As Israel has absorbed immigrants from almost every country in the world it has become a culinary crossroads where European, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines blend together to create mouth-watering combinations.

With a reliance on fresh fruit and vegetables, a large number of Israeli dishes are suitable for vegetarians. Many of the popular salads and dips are vegan including the ubiquitous hummus. With 25% annual growth Israel’s organic food sector is rapidly expanding to meet the demands of health conscious consumers worldwide. Growing health awareness has seen the development of many products that are lactose-free, gluten-free and/or sugar-free.

Many of the larger food conglomerates including Osem and Carmit produce a wide range of gluten free products including pasta, cereal, pretzels, marshmallows and bread. Other smaller companies including Angel’s Touch, GreenLite, and  Zen Soy are producing exclusively gluten free product ranges including quiches, pizzas, puddings, juice gels and much more.

Over the annual Passover holiday, many Jews do not eat bread and consequently an increasingly sophisticated range of products has been developed without yeast or gluten. Many of these products are now available all year round. Israel has a long and well-established gluten free manufacturing process that is governed by strict dietary laws and produced under stringent supervision, thus ensuring gluten-free products are produced with no trace allergens.

Last year Israeli food imports to Australia grew by almost 9% as consumers looked to expand their food options with an increasingly sophisticated  range of high-quality goods including olives, olive oil, wines, chocolates, condiments, teas, and much more.

Whether it’s a boutique olive oil, a marshmallow, or a cup of mint tea, enjoy something new today at your nearest supermarket or delicatessen.

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